NASA to deliver commercial research equipment to station

Feb 16, 2012

NASA, Astrium Space Transportation and NanoRacks LLC are teaming up to expand the research capability of the International Space Station through delivery of a small commercial centrifuge facility that will conduct molecular and cellular investigations on plant and animal tissue.

The enhances NanoRacks' existing suite of lab equipment aboard the space station, which includes and a plate reader used to detect biological, chemical or physical activity in samples.

Astrium Space Transportation handed over the research centrifuge to NanoRacks LL, during a ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 14 in Houston. Astrium North America adapted the centrifuge -- originally built by Kayser Italia for use on space shuttle missions -- for use in the station's NanoRacks Platform-3. The commercial research team funded the centrifuge.

NASA will deliver the centrifuge as part of its responsibility to provide transportation for U.S. National Laboratory research and facilities to the space station.

Under its partnership with Astrium, NanoRacks will add the centrifuge to the two racks of laboratory support equipment already on the station. The centrifuge is sized to fit the standard NanoRacks architecture, which can fly on any .

"This is an important step in the expansion of National Lab facilities aboard the space station," said Marybeth Edeen, U.S. National Laboratory manager at NASA's Johnson Space Center. "Having companies develop research and facilities for the National Lab with their own funding demonstrates the beginnings of the marketplace that the National Lab was created to serve."

The platform and centrifuge were produced in a short time at low cost. Both NanoRacks and Astrium expect announcements in the near future about more joint projects.

has manifested the NanoRacks-3 platform and the Astrium centrifuge on a Russian Progress cargo ship scheduled for launch in summer 2012 under its cargo agreements with the Russian Federal Space Agency.

Explore further: Space sex geckos at risk as Russia loses control of satellite

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA extends its Russian space contract

Apr 10, 2007

NASA has signed a $719 million extension of the International Space Station contract with Russia's Federal Space Agency for services through 2011.

Commercial space deliveries 'within months': NASA

Oct 03, 2011

The US space agency NASA said Monday it expects commercial operators will deliver cargo to space within months, stressing that private missions were crucial to its future human activities.

NASA proposes $17.6 billion budget

Feb 05, 2008

U.S. space officials proposed spending $17.6 billion next year with a focus on the International Space Station and space shuttle programs.

NASA says Russian space woes no worry

Feb 02, 2012

(AP) -- NASA says it is still confident with the quality of Russian manned rockets, despite an embarrassing series of glitches and failures in the Russian space program.

Recommended for you

Video: A dizzying view of the Earth from space

15 hours ago

We've got vertigo watching this video, but in a good way! This is a sped-up view of Earth from the International Space Station from the Cupola, a wraparound window that is usually used for cargo ship berthings ...

NEOWISE spots a comet that looked like an asteroid

15 hours ago

Comet C/2013 UQ4 (Catalina) has been observed by NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) spacecraft just one day after passing through its closest approach to the sun. The comet ...

What the UK Space Agency can teach Australia

15 hours ago

Australia has had an active civil space program since 1947 but has much to learn if it is to capture a bigger share of growing billion dollar global space industry. ...

Discover the "X-factor" of NASA's Webb telescope

15 hours ago

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray observatory have something in common: a huge test chamber used to simulate the hazards of space and the distant glow of starlight. Viewers can learn about ...

User comments : 0