Astronauts aboard the International Space Station ISS will tomorrow pump up the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module BEAM - the "first human-rated expandable structure that may help inform the design of deep space habitats".

The engorgement is expected to begin at 10:10 GMT 6:10 AM EDT , with NASA TV's live coverage kicking of at 09:30 GMT 5:30 AM EDT .

Pic: Bigelow Aerospace

Astronauts will first venture into BEAM on 2 June, and then several times a year over the next two years, "to retrieve sensor data and assess conditions inside the module".

Once scientists have determined how the structure "protects against solar radiation, space debris and the temperature extremes of space", it'll be cut loose from the ISS and consigned to a fiery death in Earth's atmosphere.

The obvious threat to BEAM is high-speed orbiting debris, such as that which chipped the ISS's cupola window.

It's unclear whether ISS crew are armed with a space-rated bicycle puncture repair kit to tackle such an eventuality.

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