5-speed listening (Level 4)

International Space Station gets air-filled extension






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NASA has inflated a special room as an extension to the International Space Station (ISS). It is four metres long and 3.2 metres wide. It took three days to inflate. The ISS crew must wait a week to check if it is airtight. The blow-up pod is part of a test on using inflatable accommodation in space. The capsule cost NASA $17.8 million. This initial test should lead to more inflatable pods being used on the ISS.

The inflatable is the world's first blow-up space capsule. It was designed and built by Bigelow Aerospace. The company hopes to build hotels for space tourists. It is currently working on a project to build two private space stations. These could be used as hotels in space by 2020. Inflatables could be a big part of future space travel and tourism. They are small enough to transport as airless units, but big and strong enough to live in.

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