Watch how the living quarters of the space station explode

In the experiment, not the complete structure was involved, but only a part of it without additional sealing layers. Also, this version of the module, called LIFE, was on a smaller scale than planned for the final version.

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How was the experiment

Ultimate Burst Pressure (UBP) testing was deemed a success, according to Sierra Space itself. They were held at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

LIFE (Large Integrated Flexible Environment) is an inflatable habitation module developed by Sierra Space itself for use on Orbital Reef, the world’s first commercial space station. LIFE’s full-scale living environment expands to the size of a three-story residential building in space, where astronauts can comfortably live and work for extended periods of time.

The company also stated that its tests have shown exceeding NASA certification requirements for inflatable habitation modulesthat is, they are even better than the regulator requires.

How the tests went: video

What is known about the Orbital Reef project

  • Some time ago, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin company announced plans to build its own space station to replace the aging ISS.
  • Orbital Reef will be operational in the second half of this decade, providing a place to visit and work for researchers, industrial and commercial clients, and international partners.
  • The future station will be able to accommodate up to 10 people in separate living and research areas.
  • The company plans that Orbital Reef will be a “multifunctional business park” in space that will have multiple ports and docks for visiting spacecraft and modules, as well as various utilities and amenities.
  • Potential users include space agencies, media and travel companies, entrepreneurs and investors, and technology companies.


Renders of the space station Orbital Reef / Photo by Blue Origin

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