An Inflatable Room Will Soon Be Attached to the International Space Station 

NASA is constantly finding new and creative ways to maximize space on their missions. Their latest innovation, as reported by Gizmodo, is a 5.5-foot long addition to the International Space Station that is capable of expanding to 12 feet in length.

When the SpaceX Dragon makes its next supply trip to the ISS in April, it will be carrying along the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM. After the room is attached to the station's rear port via its robotic arm, astronauts will be able to inflate it to over twice its size in approximately 45 minutes.

The fully expanded BEAM will provide an additional 565 cubic feet of volume to the ISS crew. But it won't be used as a space for lounging: Astronauts are scheduled to make only four brief trips to the module, during which they'll test it for temperature, radiation protection, and overall performance. After its two-year lifespan is up, it'll be detached from the station and released into space. You can watch an animation of the module being installed in the video above.

While this type of technology is still new, it could have future applications in building expandable habitats on the Moon or even Mars. Another way to save cabin space on missions into deep space would be to bring 3D printers on board and print parts from materials harvested during the mission. This reality may not be too far off: Just last week, NASA delivered a high-tech 3D printer to the ISS that astronauts can use to make aerospace grade goods on site.

[h/t Gizmodo]

Header/banner images courtesy of NASA via YouTube.

The Most Popular Netflix Show in Every Country
most popular Netflix show in each country map
most popular Netflix show in each country map key

If you're bored with everything in your Netflix queue, why not look to the top shows around the world for a recommendation? recently used Google Trends data to create a map of the most popular show streaming on Netflix in every country in 2018. The best-loved show in the world is the dystopian thriller 3%, claiming the number one spot in eight nations. The show is the first Netflix original made in Portuguese, so it's no surprise that Portugal and Brazil are among the eight countries that helped put it at the top of the list.

Coming in second place is South Korea's My Love from the Star, which seven countries deemed their favorite show. The romantic drama revolves around an alien who lands on Earth and falls in love with a mortal. The English-language show with the most clout is 13 Reasons Why, coming in at number three around the world—which might be proof that getting addicted to soapy teen dramas is a universal experience.

Pot comedy Disjointed is Canada's favorite show, which probably isn't all that surprising given the nation's recent ruling to legalize marijuana. Perhaps coming as even less of a shock is the phenomenon of Stranger Things taking the top spot in the U.S. Favorites like Black Mirror, Sherlock, and The Walking Dead also secured the love of at least one country.

Out of the hundreds of shows on the streaming platform, only 47 are a favorite in at least one country in 2018. So no hard feelings, Gypsy.

Roadside Bear Statue in Wales is So Lifelike That Safety Officials Want It Removed

Wooden bear statue.

There are no real bears in the British Isles for residents to worry about, but a statue of one in the small Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells has become a cause of concern. As The Telegraph reports, the statue is so convincing that it's scaring drivers, causing at least one motorist to crash her car. Now road safety officials are demanding it be removed.

The 10-foot wooden statue has been a fixture on the roadside for at least 15 years. It made headlines in May of 2018 when a woman driving her car saw the landmark and took it to be the real thing. She was so startled that she veered off the road and into a street sign.

After the incident, she complained about the bear to highways officials who agreed that it poses a safety threat and should be removed. But the small town isn't giving in to the Welsh government's demands so quickly.

The bear statue was originally erected on the site of a now-defunct wool mill. Even though the mill has since closed, locals still see the statue as an important landmark. Llanwrtyd Wells councilor Peter James called it an "iconic gateway of the town," according to The Telegraph.

Another town resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Telegraph that the woman who crashed her car had been a tourist from Canada where bears are common. Bear were hunted to extinction in Britain about 1000 years ago, so local drivers have no reason to look out for the real animals on the side of the road.

The statue remains in its old spot, but Welsh government officials plan to remove it themselves if the town doesn't cooperate. For now, temporary traffic lights have been set up around the site of the accident to prevent any similar incidents.

[h/t The Telegraph]


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