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NASA ISS BEAM Support Contract Awarded to ATA Engineering

Through a contract awarded by NASA Johnson Space Center, ATA has been selected to provide sustaining engineering services for the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module.

SAN DIEGO, Calif., January 25, 2022 – ATA Engineering (ATA) is proud to announce that we have been awarded a contract from NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) to provide engineering services for the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), a commercial expandable habitat module that was originally designed and developed by Bigelow Aerospace and was successfully installed on the International Space Station (ISS) in April 2016.

BEAM installed to the Tranquility module. Image courtesy NASA.

Since BEAM’s conceptual design starting in 2013, ATA supported Bigelow Aerospace (BA) as a subcontractor responsible for addressing structural, dynamic, thermal, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) design requirements. In April 2016, BEAM flew onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 vehicle to the ISS and was successfully berthed to the Node 3 aft port. After BEAM’s installation aboard the ISS, ATA supported a series of life extension analyses to demonstrate that BEAM’s original two-year mission life could be extended to as late as 2032.

“The continued success of BEAM utilization on ISS reflects the top-quality engineering provided by both Bigelow Aerospace and ATA engineers throughout the development of this remarkable expandable habitat technology demonstrator,” ATA President Joshua Davis said. “Our legacy of support to NASA dates back to the mid-1970s and includes ambitious missions such as the Space Shuttle, original ISS construction, Curiosity and Perseverance Mars rovers, and James Webb Space Telescope. The ATA team is grateful to our partners at NASA for the opportunity to continue that rich history of critical mission support on the BEAM sustainment contract.”

Under this NASA JSC contract award, ATA will provide unique engineering support including potential mission life extension, feasibility studies, anomaly resolution support, failure analysis, and other as-needed assessments.