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Experiment

Successful extension of Inflatable Extension Mast (IEM) and deployment of Inflatable Space Terrarium (IST) in the series of the Space Inflatable Membranes Pioneering Long-term Experiments (SIMPLE)

Last Updated: September 5, 2012

At 1:20 a.m. on August 17, 2012, the Inflatable Extension Mast (IEM), one of the series of the Space Inflatable Membranes Pioneering Long-term Experiments (SIMPLE*) which realizes the highly-rigid linear shape for the first time in the world has successfully extended.

SIMPLE is one of the mission hardware installed in the Multi-mission Consolidated Equipment (MCE) on board the Japanese Experiment Module Kibo's Exposed Facility (EF).

*Principle Investigator (PI): Takahira Aoki, Professor, Graduate School, the University of Tokyo.

Further, the Inflatable Space Terrarium (IST) of SIMPLE was successfully deployed at 5:17 p.m. on August 18, 2012. IST is a small terrarium on orbit in which the atmosphere pressure is kept at 1 atm by air.

Extension technology demonstrated in these experiments is expected to the application to the large space structures on orbit or on the moon in the future.

Characteristic change of an inflatable structure* by a long-term exposure in the space environment will be studied hereafter.

*Inflatable structure: An ultralight structure which can be inflated by a rise in the internal pressure with gas using a gas-generating cartridge or small pressure vessel.

Configuration of SIMPLE hardware (Credit: JAXA)

Configuration of SIMPLE hardware (Credit: JAXA)

IEM extension photographed by the Kibo's Remote Manipulator System (RMS) (Credit: JAXA)

IEM extension photographed by the Kibo's Remote Manipulator System (RMS) (Credit: JAXA)

Deployment of IST taken by a SIMPLE's internal camera (Credit: JAXA)

Deployment of IST taken by a SIMPLE's internal camera (Credit: JAXA) (Credit: JAXA)

The last materialdeploy experiment of the Inflatable Material Experiment Panel (IMP) will be conducted at a later date.

*All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)

 
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