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Obama Says World Leaders "Rattled" by Trump; Trump Ramps Up on Elizabeth Warren; U.S. State Department Slams Clinton on Emails; London Mayor on Donald Trump; ISIS Hiding Fighters among Migrants; Oil Prices Top $50/Barrel; Trump Does Business in Majority Muslim Country; Amber Heard Files for Divorce; Habitat Could Be Used on Mars. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired May 26, 2016 - 10:00:00   ET




ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST (voice-over): Ahead at the INTERNATIONAL DESK: President Obama says Donald Trump rattles world leaders.

Are smugglers helping ISIS get to Europe?

And astronauts are trying to inflate a new habitat in space.


CURNOW: Hello, everyone, welcome. I'm Robyn Curnow at the CNN Center. We start with Donald Trump, looming large at the G7 summit in

Japan. The soon-to-be U.S. presidential nominee became a main talking point at the summit and the subject of blunt criticism from the man he

hopes to succeed.

Barack Obama using words like "ignorance" and "cavalier" to describe Trump's world views. CNNMoney Asia Pacific editor Andrew Stevens joins me

now from Tova, Japan.

Hi, there, Andrew. I mean this was a trip that was supposed to focus on nuclear issues, on those big geopolitical topics but Mr. Trump trumped

everything it seems.

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN ASIA PACIFIC EDITOR: As he tends to do these days, Robyn, Donald Trump very much front and center. There was a press

conference held by the president here to talk about what was going on behind closed doors at the G7. And Donald Trump was very much at the fore.

Mr. Obama, as you say blistering criticism, withering criticism, not the first time the U.S. president has weighed into the election campaign and

the election debate.

But this was a different audience and he was basically in some ways repeating the words that were being said to him by leaders of the seven

industrialized nations and he said that they're finding it hard whether they should be taking his pronouncements seriously. Listen to what the

president said.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They're rattled by it. And for good reason. Because a lot of the proposals that he's made display

either ignorance of world affairs or a cavalier attitude or an interest in getting tweets and headlines instead of actually thinking through what it

is that is required to keep America safe.


STEVENS: He didn't actually outline what sort of proposals that -- specific proposals but certainly among the more controversial has been,

perhaps, nuclear arming South Korea and Japan or allowing them to nuclear arm themselves, also withdrawing from NATO. Those sort of things, which do

rattle nerves obviously because there is a chance that Donald Trump may, indeed, be the next commander in chief, the next leader of the free world.

So in many ways, a very legitimate topic for the G7 leaders to be talking about -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Indeed. Many of them might have to be doing business with him. Let's talk again, also, as we're saying, the U.S. election very much

looming large, even on these big international trips. The president also talking about grumpiness within the Democratic Party.

STEVENS: Yes. The president sort of pointing out as is often the case, people take much more interest in the U.S. elections than the U.S.

takes in other people's elections. So this one is no different, 2016.

He was asked about the Democratic Party and the increasingly bitter exchanges between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders of course. And he

said sort of speaking from experience himself that these campaigns are long, they're hard and he said, you know, it's tough when you do get the

barbs from your own side.

But he said, that this is just pretty much par for the course about a campaign. Listen to what he had to say.


OBAMA: With respect to the democratic primary process, as I've said before, it's been my view, to let this play out. Let voters make up their

minds and during primaries, people get a little grumpy with each other. You know, it's just the nature of the process.

You start off and everybody is thinking this is fine, this is going to be a friendly competition, we're going to debate ideas. And somebody says

one thing and then another person says another thing and that is a little sharper than I expected and, you know, somebody's supporter pops off and

there's a certain buildup of aggravation.


STEVENS: And Robyn, just finally he said in the press conference --


STEVENS: -- that he was going to allow one more question for reporters and he was asked about Hillary Clinton and the State Department

inspector general report, which was put to him that could have undermined the whole -- her defense of the e-mail controversy, Hillary Clinton's e-

mail controversy.

And he pulled right back from that question, saying that that was a question better directed at Ms. Clinton's campaign and it was something

that he would be addressing, no doubt, when he was on U.S. soil but not Japanese soil -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Yes. And we will talk about that in a moment. Andrew Stevens in Japan, thank you so much.

Donald Trump hit the late night talk show circuit in California on Wednesday, answering a challenge from Democrat Bernie Sanders. CNN's Sara

Murray has that and Trump's volatile day on the campaign trail.


SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Donald Trump jumping at an invitation from Bernie Sanders to debate before California's June 7th

primary if the price is right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes or no, he wants to know if you will debate him.


How much is he going to pay me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You would do it for a price?

What would --


TRUMP: -- debated him we would have such high ratings and I think I should give -- take that money and give it to some worthy charity.

MURRAY (voice-over): Sanders responding on Twitter saying, game on, talking to Jimmy Kimmel, Trump also admitting he has used aliases to scope

out properties in the past.

TRUMP: Over the years I've used aliases. I actually used the name baron.

KIMMEL: Baron, right.

TRUMP: And I'm using my son because I made a very good deal using that name.

Many people in the real estate business do that, you use alias and you have to, otherwise they find out it's you and charge you more money.

Nobody wants to pay more money.

MURRAY (voice-over): This admission after the presumptive GOP nominee denied reports he's posed as his own publicist under names like John Miller

and John Baron. But Trump attracted more than laughs Wednesday, also drawing protesters outside of Kimmel's studio.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you a racist, too?

Shame on you, Jimmy Kimmel.

MURRAY (voice-over): And even more outside of his rally in Anaheim, marking the second day of violent clashes between police and protesters at

Trump's events.

TRUMP: Crooked Hillary, she's as crooked as they come.

MURRAY (voice-over): Inside Trump taking aim at Hillary Clinton over a report from the State Department inspector general that says her use of a

private e-mail server broke the rules.

TRUMP: Inspector general's report, not good.

MURRAY (voice-over): And using the rally to unload on other political opponents including one of his most vocal adversaries, Democratic senator

Elizabeth Warren.

TRUMP: I was being hit by Pocahontas. Pocahontas, that's this Elizabeth Warren.

MURRAY (voice-over): Even attacking the Native American ancestry Warren once claimed.

TRUMP: I call her goofy. She is -- no, no. Goofy. She gets less done than anybody in the United States Senate. She gets nothing done,

nothing passed. She's got a big mouth and that's about it.

MURRAY (voice-over): The insults are nothing new for Trump but his latest target, New Mexico's Latina Republican governor, Susana Martinez,

has puzzled some.

TRUMP: She's got to do a better job. OK? She's not doing the job.

MURRAY (voice-over): Ohio governor John Kasich coming to Martinez's defense Wednesday, tweeting, "She's exactly who our party and nominee

should be lifting up and supporting, not tearing down."


CURNOW: That was Sara Murray reporting there. I want to bring in CNN Politics reporter MJ Lee from our Washington bureau.

Lots to talk about. First of all this Trump versus Bernie Sanders possible debate. I mean as Mr. Trump points out it would be great

political theater but it's not so good for Hillary if it happens.

MJ LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Robyn, I don't know if we should be holding our breath and waiting for a Trump-Sanders fight. The bottom line

is that Donald Trump right now is the presumptive Republican nominee and Sanders is not the Democratic presumptive nominee. There's no reason for

these two men to face off.

Look, there are clear reasons why Donald Trump has been talking so much about Bernie Sanders. There is this belief that Trump supporters and

Sanders supporters have a lot in common and share reasons for why they are drawn to these anti-establishment populist candidates. These are

supporters that believe that they have been left out of the economic and political system.

They believe that the political system is rigged, a message that both Trump and Sanders talk about a lot and Trump himself has said that as he

moves on to the general election and puts this focus on November, he thinks that he could actually win over some of the Sanders supporters.

Now this is actually a tall order for Trump I should point out because many Sanders' supporters, in fact the majority of them, do not have a

positive view of Donald Trump.

But this is a dynamic, I think, that Trump and Sanders will continue to sort of, you know, reach for because they believe that they do share

some supporters.

CURNOW: Let's talk about Hillary Clinton and the continuing fog of scandal around her e-mails. I want to just play some sound from Carl

Bernstein, the legendary reporter --


CURNOW: -- also the author of a book on Hillary Clinton. This what is he had to say.


CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: This is a devastating event for Hillary Clinton. It's a time bomb that has been ticking and it's

starting to explode around her and there's more to come because the FBI's investigation is ongoing.

She's probably almost definitely not going to be indicted but this is much more than a legal matter. It's about lying. She hasn't been truthful

about this. It goes to perceptions of her that I spent the week in Washington talking to Democratic leaders and they're horrified at what

she's done to herself here.


CURNOW: He went on to say Democratic leaders are upset, they're astonished. This comes of course after the announcement from the State

Department that they had grounds to question her use of this private e- mail.

How do you think this is going to affect Hillary Clinton?

Is Mr. Bernstein right?

LEE: Yes. No question that this is certainly an unwelcome development for Hillary Clinton especially at this point in the

presidential race. What the State Department I.G. said was that Clinton failed to follow the proper rules and that she did not inform the proper

State Department officials about her use of a private e-mail server.

Now this is certainly a controversy that the Clinton campaign has tried to beat back for many, many months now. They have said over and over

again that she didn't break any rules, that she did actually get the proper permissions necessary to use this private e-mail server.

The I.G. report certainly seems to contradict that. And if you listen to Donald Trump on the campaign trail, he is very much open to this idea of

hitting her on this issue because he understands that this gets to the issue of whether people view her as being honest and trustworthy.

This is an issue that has really dogged Hillary Clinton throughout this campaign and so the I.G. report certainly doesn't help her make the

case and to try to build a different image for herself as she heads into the November general election.

CURNOW: MJ, thanks so much for your perspective. Thanks for joining us on the I desk.

Well, let's turn now to what's been a fierce debate in Britain over whether to leave the European Union. The new mayor of London says he

thinks the best move is to stay.

Mayor Sadiq Khan made his argument against a U.K. exit in his first major policy speech since taking office. Phil Black joins us now from

London live.

What else has he said?

Phil, hi, there.

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Robyn. Yes, so the mayor not long after taking over here at city hall in London is entering this debate over

whether or not Britain should leave the European Union by forcefully arguing the case to stay, not on economic grounds but he talks about

custom, traditions, values, the idea of what sort of country and city do people here want to live in.

He makes the argument that if you look around you here in London you see a city in every way that has been influenced by Europe, a city that has

always been outward looking, welcoming, engaging with the outside world and really stealing the best bits of Europe as it has built and progressed and

prospered along the way.

He's going to be making this argument a lot over the next four weeks because he says, here in London, where there is a majority support for the

country to stay with the union it could ultimately play a decisive role in the national vote because that national campaign, according to the opinion

polls, is still too close to call.

So he's focusing really on getting as many young people here in London out to vote in the hope that ultimately it could sway a very tight race --


CURNOW: OK. We were talking about Donald Trump with Andrew Stevens in Japan. And it seems Mr. Trump and also his views are also continuing a

topic of conversation in London as well.

BLACK: Sadiq Khan, since taking office, has, on a number of occasions, been very, very critical of Donald Trump and, in particular, his

policy of banning Muslims from the United States. We talked about this today. This what is he said. Take a look.


SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON: Donald Trump and his team, their views on Islam are ignorant. I'm clear that, yes, of course, it's the case that

there are a small number of people who do horrible atrocious things, commit acts of terror, they're terrorists.

My point about what Donald Trump says, he's inadvertently playing into the extremist hands by giving the impression that western Liberal values

are incompatible with mainstream Islam.


BLACK: Now we got to talking about Donald Trump because it wasn't that long ago that Sadiq Khan issued an invitation to Trump to come to

London and spend time with him and his family and see just how compatible mainstream Islam is with a modern Western society.

I asked Sadiq Khan if he had a response from Trump and he laughed --


BLACK: -- a lot, which I take to mean he hasn't heard back at all -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Yep. Probably sounds like a clear no. Phil Black in London, thank you.

You're at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. It's no surprise smugglers are more concerned with money than what they're smuggling and now there's a growing

market for getting ISIS fighters into Europe. You'll hear from one of those smugglers. Stay with us.




CURNOW: To Iraq now and a key battle, Iraqi forces have retaken the town of Kana from ISIS. Kana is about 16 kilometers northeast of Fallujah,

Iraq's joint operations command says there is still some sporadic fighting with a few remaining ISIS fighters.

Meanwhile Iraqi troops continue to try to liberate Fallujah. The United Nations estimates 50,000 people are still in the city, unable to

flee. They're facing limited food and medical supplies, which are tightly controlled by ISIS.

If they do get out of harm's way, the danger is far from over.


CURNOW (voice-over): These dramatic pictures show a boat full of migrants being rescued by an Italian patrol boat on Wednesday. Five people

died. Earlier on Thursday, another migrant boat capsized, no word yet on casualties.

While many on these boats are fleeing ISIS others are ISIS militants themselves, heading for the next is battleground, Europe. Nick Paton Walsh

joins us now from Beirut to explain.

Hi, there, Nick. Tell us about your report.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT: It's an extraordinarily sensitive topic, Robyn, the notion that in this already

very tragic and at times deadly trade in human souls from Libya, using illegal black market migrant routes and often very dangerous boats, there

are potentially now a security threat emerging for Europe.

We've been hearing from smugglers from officials in Libya who say in the past few months ISIS is doing all it can to try to infiltrate those

smuggling routes for people with their own militants.


WALSH (voice-over): This is the moment when desperate dreams come to an end. We're with the Libyan immigration police inside a warehouse of

migrant hopefuls they've just raided right on the Tripoli beach front as Turkey and Greece close their shores the Libyan route to Europe has

exploded again.

Here among the squalor that a lifetime savings buys, it's where fantasies of a future in Europe fall apart.

Where are you from?


WALSH (voice-over): Eugene (ph) fled ISIS-loyal Boko Haram in Nigeria whose bombs killed his father and brother. And he survived the desert trek

until here.

EUGENE (PH) (from captions): Today bomb blast, tomorrow bomb blast. We are not safe.


EUGENE (PH) (from captions): After the death of my father and my brother, let me go out, let me travel out. Every time I talk about them I

feel sad.

WALSH (voice-over): We leave quickly as this, as the smugglers' neighborhood. But there is a new threat here, smugglers and police telling

us that ISIS have hidden fighters among other groups of migrants bound for Europe. This trade in human souls is awful enough until you think that

perhaps ISIS are using this passage of human life into Europe to try and infiltrate the continent with sleeper cells.

Police tell us off camera they've caught different other migrants with ISIS links and a top Libyan intelligence official warns us the threat is


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): ISIS can be among the illegal immigrants on the boat. They travel with their families without weapons as

normal illegal immigrants. They will wear American dress and have English language papers so they cause no suspicion.

WALSH (voice-over): It is a huge and unpatrollable coastline where smugglers rule. We talked to one disguised for his safety, who says in the

past two months ferrying ISIS has become part of the trade.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): About two weeks ago a boat left the ISIS stronghold, Sirte. Among them were about 40 ISIS. They were

heading to Europe but bad weather turned them back. Ten days later they tried again.

I don't know if they got there. About a month ago I got a call from a devout guy I knew was ISIS. He wanted a small boat for 25 people and was

willing to pay about $40,000. I didn't take the deal.

WALSH: Do you and other smugglers feel comfortable moving people who you know may be ISIS towards Europe?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Smugglers are only interested in smuggling. Isis, anyone, they don't care. Melon or watermelon, only

money matters.

WALSH (voice-over): The Libyan state is torn apart by infighting. Its coast guard struggling to even find boats.

Fighting the migrant trade across this, the whole coastline of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, are just six boats like this, some of which are

not in particularly good service. You simply can't imagine how underresourced things are here so close to Europe.

These are the desperate scenes as they tried to rescue some African migrants whose dinghy collapsed late last year. Smugglers now prefer these

dinghies, vulnerable to the slightest weather change.

A trade born of human misery, some fleeing ISIS themselves only to find ISIS now seek to hijack their deadly journey to spread more suffering.


WALSH: And Robyn, obviously it's very hard to know what level of success ISIS have had at getting militants through that route to Europe.

But the key issue is the volume of the coastline that ISIS now have an influence over about a 10th of Libya's coastline and in fact we're hearing,

too, that a lot of the boats have seemed to run into trouble in the past or in the recent months, have come from areas where ISIS have a potential

stronghold or severe influence.

So many concerns that not only are they potentially infiltrating the trade but they may also to some degree be profiting from it, given the fact

that it's coming from areas where they have a degree of control -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Great reporting. Thanks so much, Nick Paton Walsh there.

You can read Nick's digital feature on Libya and ISIS smugglers on our website. The address is

The new leader of the Taliban is promising a deadlier era for the militant group. He told his commanders that there would be no peace talks

with the Afghan government. A U.S. drone strike killed the previous Taliban leader last week.

And world oil prices have just surpassed a major milestone. Raising to more than $50 a barrel after months of historically low prices. The

move comes after a Wednesday report that said U.S. crude stock prices had fallen more than expected, suggesting market prices could tighten further.

Oil is sitting at a price at more than 80 percent higher than January when prices reached a 12-year low.

With what all this means I want to welcome CNN's Maggie Lake who joins us from London.

What is driving prices higher here?

Hi, there, Maggie.

MAGGIE LAKE, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, there, Robyn. I'm going to come to you from New York but we haven't seen it at this level in

a long time and a couple things going on.

In the short term you have some disruptions in production if you look at Nigeria, Venezuela, Canada with that terrible wildfire that was out of

control, hitting the oil sands there.

That has disrupted supply in the short term and then to link what you talked about in the U.S., the fact that we have fallen so far, yes, we're

80 percent to 90 percent off the lows --


LAKE: -- around $26 but remember, we were looking at oil sitting above $100 not that long ago. So we are still down sharply. It has taken

this long to see that really start to impact production. We have a lot of deepwater projects shuttered now, the big oil companies pulling back. And

U.S. frackers shutting down production, those inventory numbers you mentioned coming through but our John Defterios telling us last hour that

U.S. frackers are about a million below where they were at the peak.

So all of that sort of creating an equilibrium for the market getting us to the $50 a barrel mark for now.

CURNOW: For now. So the question is, will these prices stay above 50?

LAKE: And that's the great unknown. We're not sure. I mean some people are worried. You're hearing in the market both from traders who are

looking at this just from a momentum play and also from people in the oil industry like OPEC, that maybe this rally has come too far too fast and,

importantly, if you start to see this rebound in prices, does that just draw everybody back in?

The U.S. frackers have said all along as soon as it makes sense and it is profitable to produce, they will start again. They shuttered them for

now but some of them are just temporary.

So will that supply come back to the market as you see prices climb higher?

That's what people are concerned about and it's certainly something that is going to be on the agenda for OPEC.

CURNOW: OK. Maggie Lake in New York, thank you.

A labor dispute is leading to fuel shortages in France. Workers at all eight French oil refineries are on strike and now workers at the

country's nuclear plants have joined them.

Hundreds of petrol stations are running low after several refineries shut down and workers vacated fuel depots. At issue is a labor reform bill

that makes it easier for companies to hire and fire employees.

Well, now to a surprising report about how the U.S. is running its nuclear weapons systems. It's apparently using technology from the 1970s.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office says the Pentagon is using computer systems that run on floppy disks -- yes, floppy disks.

The huge drives were outdated decades ago if you even remember them and it's expensive to keep them going. It costs the U.S. government $60

billion a year to maintain aging computers. The Pentagon is promising a full update by the end of next year.

Still ahead, Donald Trump has made his views of Islam crystal clear but that's not stopping him from doing business in majority Muslim

countries. The project he has in the works, that's ahead.





CURNOW: Welcome to the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. Here's a check of the headlines.


CURNOW: Donald Trump may be proposing a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. but he doesn't appear to have a problem doing business in a country

with the world's largest Muslim population. Our Ivan Watson looks at the project Trump is working on in Indonesia.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Welcome to what Donald Trump's company says will one day become the next

generation of luxury hospitality. This is the Lido Lakes hotel, a resort that feels long like past its prime.

This hotel feels a little scruffy and forlorn and yet Donald Trump and his Trump Hotels company have announced that they're going to help turn

this place into a new ultra-luxury six-star resort.

Here's the thing, we're currently in Indonesia. It's the world's most populous Muslim country.

This Southeast Asian country is home to more than 200 million Muslims. Many of the Indonesians we talked to say they're offended by the things

Donald Trump says about their faith and his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.

TRUMP: I think Islam hates us. There's something -- there's something there that is a tremendous hatred there. We have to be vigilant

and very careful and we can't allow people coming into this country who have this hatred.

WATSON: Has Donald Trump's rhetoric been worrying your community?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not worrying. But, you know, provoking, you know, provoking. It's like that he wants Muslims to hate him.


WATSON (voice-over): Yaya Stakov (ph) is a top official in an Indonesian religious group that claims to be the world's largest Muslim

organization. This month they organized an international conference of moderate Muslim leaders to denounce violent Islamist extremism.

But the cleric warns that a ban on Muslims by a possible future President Trump would be disastrous.

YAYA STAKOV (PH) TOP INDONESIAN RELIGIOUS OFFICIAL: It would be potentially dangerous because it could ignite misunderstandings through the

Muslim world.

WATSON (voice-over): Trump has since softened his stance on the ban.

TRUMP: We have a serious problem. It's a temporary ban. It hasn't been called for yet. Nobody's done it. This is just a suggestion until we

find out what's going on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think that America can survive alone.

WATSON (voice-over): Either way, Trump's proposed ban on Muslims entering the U.S. has raised questions at the highest levels of the

Indonesian government.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How come he not allow the Muslim people come and entering America while he has money in Indonesia?

Investment in Indonesia, yes.

Trump Hotels says it's developing two luxury resorts in Indonesia.

Trump's company does not specify whether the new resort will include a mosque, such as this one, which currently stands at the Lido Lakes hotel.

Despite some politicians calling for a Trump boycott, the Indonesian government says it won't cancel his hotel deals here. Donald Trump may not

trust Muslims but that hasn't stopped him from trying to make money in this majority Muslim country -- Ivan Watson, CNN, Indonesia.


CURNOW: You can keep tabs on the latest news from the campaign trail right here on CNN. Check out our new program "STATE OF THE RACE" with Kate

Bolduan, weeknights at 7:30 pm in London and in Asia 2:30 pm Hong Kong time Tuesday through Friday.



CURNOW: Maybe the dogs came between them?

Johnny Depp's wife makes a surprising move in court. That's next.





AMBER HEARD, ACTOR: I'm truly sorry that Pistol and Boo were not declared. Protecting Australia is important.

JOHNNY DEPP, ACTOR: Declare everything when you enter Australia.


CURNOW: Perhaps the scandal involving their dogs was just too much for their young romance. Actors Amber Heard and Johnny Depp are divorcing

after 15 months of marriage. Heard filed the papers Monday in Los Angeles, just days after Depp's mother passed away.

You may recall last year, when the couple was charged with illegally bringing their two Yorkies into Australia. That led to the apology you

just heard. Now it's not clear who will get custody of Pistol and Boo. Depp's latest film, "Alice Through the Looking Glass," opens on Friday.

The astronauts on board the International Space Station are getting a new room -- an inflatable one. NASA was planning to inflate it today but

after three hours of blowing air into it manually the room didn't inflate and eventually if it eventually works this type of module could someday be

used as a habitat on Mars.

Let's get perspective from someone who's actually been in space. We're joined by former astronaut, Mike Massimino, who is now a professor at

Columbia University.

OK. So, Mike, something didn't look right today, as one of your astronaut colleagues said, you certainly don't want that balloon to pop.

And NASA has delayed this expansion.


MIKE MASSIMINO, ASTRONAUT: What it looks like happened is that they tried to inflate it as the procedure would say, pump air into it and it

should expand like a big balloon more or less and it stopped. And generally when you're doing things like this if you get something to --

something that stops or doesn't quite go the way you expected, you more or less just knock it off and wait and see what you can learn. And they've

decided to do that and to study it for a while.

I'm sure they're busy both at Big O (ph) Aerospace and at NASA trying to figure out what happened and coming up with a plan to try again. So it

seems like this is the kind of thing where they don't know exactly what happened, it's the first time they've tried something like this, so they're

very, very cautious, let's stop, think about it and try again another day.

CURNOW: Yes. It begs the line, how many NASA engineers does it take to blow up a space bouncy castle?

Because that's what it kind of looks like. But it's pretty revolutionary technology.

What is this and why is it so revolutionary?

MASSIMINO: This really could be huge. If you look at the other modules on the space station all of them are made out of metal. They're

very robust, hard, rigid structures and, because of that, they're expensive or relatively expensive to launch when compared to launching something that

made out of this expandable material, which is --


MASSIMINO: -- kind of like an expanding tent.

When you go camping bring your tent with you and set it up once you get there. That's what this module is. It can be folded down to a very

small area. It doesn't require a lot of propulsion because it's light.

But you can get it to space and then expand it so it grows to a larger structure and it's good not only for the space station but also for

opportunities as you mentioned in the piece at the beginning for Mars exploration or for exploration of the solar system hopefully in the future,

this would be a great way go.

So this is a very good technology demonstration not just for the space station to give it some added volume but also for the future for the future

of space flight of these types of things of expanding your volume, expanding that habitat or that laboratory after you get to space.

CURNOW: So it basically allows further space endeavors. You can leapfrog your way to Mars and blow up your tent along the way.

How roomy is it?

How many astronauts can snuggle up in it?

Why is this also just in terms of a habitat so cool?

MASSIMINO: This one they're testing on the space station is smaller than your average module. It's not necessarily something that you can go

to Mars in. But so this is more of a test case. They're looking at when they expand this, once they get it expanded -- I'm sure they will be able

to figure this out and get the thing expanded.

They're going to study it for a while and see how it does with radiation effects, can this expandable material protect astronauts from

radiation and hold pressure, it has to hold pressure so you can have an atmosphere and be kept alive in this thing and withstand microgravity

impacts of -- micrometeor impacts of small rocks or debris that might strike it and keep its pressure and everyone safe inside.

This volume is relatively small compared to what you would want in the future. That's the way you do it. Smaller volume to do your test and in

the future build one that is bigger.

That's -- this is not necessarily a habitat that they would want to start living in right away. But is certainly a good test case for what

might come along in the future.

CURNOW: They will be testing it for two years up there, sort of assessing temperatures, radiation, as you said.


CURNOW: How debris, how it manages to protect you from debris.

What does this also mean in terms of the sort of staging point?

I mean, there's many discussions of how the next space station will be quite commercial and you will be leasing out space in these kinds of tents?

MASSIMINO: That's another major point in this, is that this is the -- Big O (ph) aerospace is a company that is doing this as a commercial

endeavor. What their bigger plan appears to be is that they want to have space stations that people can go and visit for experiments and possibly

for tourism and this is a great way to get those up there.

So this is a very unique, novel idea. It's brand new, something we've never dreamed of doing years ago. We always thought you have to build a

spaceship and then launching. This is more like getting there and expanding it when you get there for commercial reasons.

The longer range goal not to just have this test going on and not even just using it for exploration for astronauts to Mars and other places but

also a commercial program where you can have a space station.

This company might be able to do an inflatable space station that paying customers, whether for science or tourism, can pay to go to. This

is another one of these steps we've seen this happen with SpaceX and Virgin Galactic and Blue Origins are all companies building spaceships that people

can use, rocket engines, but they're building them commercially and then have private citizens, tourists, scientists go and use these things to do

their work or to go on a vacation. This is just another step. Now we're looking at a habitat.

CURNOW: Gives new meaning to the word Airbnb, doesn't it?


CURNOW: Mike Massimino, thank you so much for joining us?

MASSIMINO: My pleasure.

CURNOW: Appreciate it.

MASSIMINO: It's an exciting topic and I'm glad you're interested.

CURNOW: We have to leave it at that. I'm Robyn Curnow. This is the INTERNATIONAL DESK. "WORLD SPORT" is next.