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SpaceX to deliver pop-up room to space station

Image: BEAM module
An artist’s conception shows the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module attached to the International Space Station. (Credit: Bigelow Aerospace)

For the first time, SpaceX is due to launch an entire room to the International Space Station – a room that can go into orbit folded up, and then be expanded like an accordion once it’s hooked up to the station.

The 3,100-pound Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM, is the primary payload for a cargo resupply mission. BEAM will be packed in the “trunk” of SpaceX’s uncrewed Dragon cargo capsule when it’s lofted into space by a Falcon 9 rocket.

Liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida is set for 4:43 p.m. ET (1:43 p.m. PT) April 8. Forecaster Kathy Winters said there’s a 90 percent chance of acceptable weather. “It’ll be a great day to launch a rocket,” she told reporters at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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