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Will Bigelow Aerospace's inflatable habitation module inflate, attach to the ISS, and be inhabitable?

Bigelow Aerospace has formed a partnership with SpaceX in which SpaceX launches habitats developed by Bigelow. Bigelow is currently developing a long-term inflatable space habitat called the B330.

The "Bigelow Expandable Activity Module" (BEAM) is an "experimental program developed under a NASA contract in an effort to test and validate expandable habitat technology." The habitat is built to fit in a small cargo volume, then inflate into a much larger (565 cubit foot) habitable structure.

It is slated to be carried on an upcoming SpaceX resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The BEAM model will be attached to the ISS and inflated, to constitute a test of the habitat's radiation shielding, structural integrity, durability, leak resistance, etc.

Will this test begin successfully?

The question resolves positively if both:

  • The BEAM launches with, and is deployed by, the Dragon spacecraft,

  • The BEAM is successfully attached to the ISS and inflated, so that a crew member may enter.

Resolution is negative if the BEAM unit is destroyed or rendered unrecoverable during launch or deployment, fails to inflate, etc. The question will resolve when either resolution criterion is reached, and will (retroactively) close 1 hour prior to launch.


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The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available. With tachyons you'll even be able to go back in time and backdate your prediction to maximize your points.

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Metaculus help: Community Stats

Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.

When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.