San Diego, Calif. – January 29, 2018 – In 2013, Bigelow Aerospace (Bigelow) entered into a partnership agreement with NASA to develop the world’s first commercially owned expandable module on the International Space Station (ISS), known as the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM). The BEAM team, including engineers from Bigelow, ATA Engineering (ATA), and multiple NASA centers, successfully implemented this project in only three years. During that period, ATA worked closely with Bigelow and NASA engineers from the early design phase of the program through final assembly to help ensure that BEAM’s thermal and structural performance met all design objectives and was compliant with both SpaceX and ISS interface control document (ICD) requirements.
On May 28, 2016, BEAM was successfully expanded on ISS to begin its two-year mission. To date, BEAM has been outperforming expectations on orbit, and NASA has chosen to extend its role on station beyond the original two-year timeline. The success of BEAM has also led to the BEAM team being recently recognized by NASA with the Group Achievement Award. The Group Achievement Award, part of NASA’s 2017 Agency Honor Awards, is one of NASA’s most prestigious awards. The Agency Honor Awards are approved by the administrator and presented to carefully selected individuals and groups of individuals, both government and non-government, who have distinguished themselves by making outstanding contributions to the agency’s mission. This prestigious award was bestowed upon the BEAM team for exceptional performance during the development, payload integration, and flight operations of the first human-rated expandable habitat in space. ATA is a proud partner to Bigelow and is honored to be recognized as a contributing team member on this highly successful mission. Further information on BEAM and its extended utilization on ISS can be found here.
About ATA Engineering, Inc.
ATA, an employee-owned small business, provides analysis- and test-driven design solutions focusing on the engineering needs of major manufacturers in addressing their cost, quality, and time-to-market engineering challenges for mechanical and aerospace systems. Over its forty years of operation, ATA has supported the design, analysis, and testing of numerous launch vehicles, satellites, space structures, and aircraft. ATA is a recognized leader in the application of advanced methods for satisfying mechanical, structural, thermal, fluids, and acoustic design requirements for defense and aerospace structures at the component, subsystem, and system levels. ATA’s emphasis on high-value engineering solutions through the use of innovative test and analysis approaches has been recognized with a number of technical and service awards for excellence—including the George M. Low Award, which is NASA’s premier quality and performance award for prime and subcontractors. Read more about ATA’s capabilities on our services website: www.ata-e.com