Axiom Space Reveals Robust Microgravity Research Portfolio for First-ever Private Mission to Visit International Space Station

The Axiom Space Ax-1 crew: former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, Canadian businessman Mark Pathy, American investor Larry Connor, and Israeli businessman Eytan Stibbe. (Credit: Axiom Space)

HOUSTON, November 17, 2021 (Axiom Space PR) – Axiom Space, a leader in human spaceflight and human-rated space infrastructure, announced today the research underpinning its historic Ax-1 mission targeted for launch to the International Space Station in February 2022. On the first fully private mission to ever visit the ISS, the multinational crew of four private astronauts with Axiom’s Michael López-Alegría as commander will pioneer a new phase of microgravity utilization amongst non-government entities – laying the groundwork for a full realization of low-Earth orbit’s possibilities and bringing critical findings back down to Earth.

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Cosmic Kiss Mission Begins as Matthias Maurer Arrives at the Space Station

ESA astronaut of German nationality Matthias Maurer. (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — The four Crew-3 astronauts were launched in a new SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, called Endurance, atop a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA at 02:03 GMT/03:03 CET Thursday 11 November. They arrived at the Station around 22 hours later for a six-month stay in orbit. 

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Solstar Space Opens New Crowdfunding Campaign After Oversubscribed Seed Round in Q1 2021

SANTA FE, N.M., November 9, 2021 (Solstar Space PR) – Solstar Space, the company making persistent space-based communications available, announced that it has opened a new regulation crowdfunding campaign on WeFunder. Solstar is continuing the development and delivery of suborbital and orbital communications systems for humans, payloads, IoT sensors, and spacecraft. 

“As space becomes increasingly congested, space-based communications systems are crucial,” says M. Brian Barnett, Founder and CEO, Solstar Space. “Connectivity is challenging during suborbital and orbital missions. We are designing communications solutions that make using your smartphone in space as easy as it is on Earth. Connecting people and spacecraft to resources in space and on the ground is essential for safety, and for extending space exploration, space medicine, monitoring human performance, and on orbit communications. We are continuing the development and engineering of these important solutions,” explains Barnett. 

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Two Startups Awarded Projects Leveraging the ISS National Lab Through MassChallenge

Selected projects to receive funding from CASIS and Boeing through the Technology in Space Prize

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla, November 2, 2021 (CASIS PR) – The Center for the Advancement of Science and Space, Inc. (CASIS) and Boeing [NYSE: BA] are awarding up to $500,000 in grants to two startup companies through the Technology in Space Prize. The startups, krtkl inc. and Oculogenex, Inc., were identified through the MassChallenge (Boston) startup accelerator program. The companies will leverage the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory, managed by CASIS, to further their research and technology development in low Earth orbit.

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Redwire Acquires Space Biotechnology Leader Techshot

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., November 2, 2021 (Redwire PR) – Redwire Corporation (NYSE: RDW), a leader in space infrastructure for the next generation space economy, today announced that it has acquired Techshot, Inc., a leader in biotechnology in microgravity, bioprinting, and on-orbit manufacturing needed for commercial space-based research and development.  

“Techshot’s space bioprinting and other proven biotech solutions in microgravity are some of the most consequential innovations in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) with life-saving benefits on and off our home planet,” said Peter Cannito, Chairman and CEO of Redwire. “Adding Techshot’s leading position in commercial space biotechnology with Redwire’s leading position in on-orbit material manufacturing adds significant scale and synergy to our commercial space offerings.  This is a giant leap forward in our vision for people living and working in space for the benefit of the terrestrial economy.” 

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After Successful Parabolic Flight Testing, Ring-Sheared Drop Experiment Arrives at the International Space Station

European Space Agency Astronaut Thomas Pesquet works on the Ring-Sheared Drop experiment inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory module’s Microgravity Science Glovebox on the International Space Station. (Credit: International Space Station National Laboratory)

EDWARDS, Calif. (NASA PR) — Following successful Flight Opportunities-supported parabolic flight testing on Zero Gravity Corporation’s G-FORCE ONE aircraft in April and May, 2021, the Ring-Sheared Drop (RSD) experiment from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center arrived at the International Space Station on Northrop Grumman’s NG-16 Cygnus spacecraft on August 12, 2021.

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Upgrading the Space Station’s Cold Atom Lab With Mixed Reality

NASA is looking into whether mixed reality technology could help with repairs and upgrades on the cutting-edge Cold Atom Lab aboard the space station.

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Cold Atom Lab is a first-of-its-kind physics laboratory operating in Earth orbit. About the size of a mini-fridge, it hosts multiple experiments that explore the fundamental nature of atoms by cooling them down to nearly absolute zero (the coldest temperature matter can reach). The ultracold atoms provide a window into the quantum realm, where matter exhibits strange behaviors that underpin many modern technologies.

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0-G Launch and Canary Islands Aeronautic and Aerospace Cluster Sign Agreement for Zero-Gravity Flight Services and Horizontal Air-Launch of Rockets

Space Jet (Credit: 0-G Launch)

Agreement Signed to Conduct Yearly Consumer Zero-Gravity Parabolic Flights from the Canary Islands, as well as Future Orbital Rocket Air-Launches of Satellites for the NewSpace Industry.

MADRID, Oct. 27, 2021 (0-G Launch PR) — 0-G Launch, an innovative Washington DC-based provider of the Space Jet™ horizontal rocket air-launch and microgravity service aircraft, and the Canary Islands Aeronautic and Aerospace Cluster -CAAC, an international center of excellence dedicated to promoting companies in the aeronautical-aerospace sector in the archipelago, today announced the signature of an agreement to initiate consumer zero-gravity parabolic flights from the islands in 2023.

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ISS National Lab Announces Sustainability Challenge Focused on Plastics Alternatives in Partnership with Estée Lauder

Finalists of this Sustainability Challenge may have the opportunity to launch flight projects to the orbiting laboratory under the sponsorship of the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), October 28, 2021 – The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, Inc. (CASIS), manager of the ISS National Lab, today announced a sustainability challenge in partnership with leading global prestige beauty brand Estée Lauder. The ISS National Lab Sustainability Challenge: Beyond Plastics aims to utilize the orbiting laboratory to advance sustainability research that addresses the plastics dilemma.

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Crew-3 Astronauts Launch to Space Station Alongside Microgravity Research

SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts (from left) Matthias Maurer, Thomas Marshburn, Raja Chari, and Kayla Barron pose for a portrait during preflight training at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. (Credit: SpaceX)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission is set to launch four astronauts to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon on Sunday, Oct. 31. The mission includes three NASA astronauts – mission Commander Raja Chari, Pilot Tom Marshburn, and Mission Specialist Kayla Barron – as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, who will also serve as a mission specialist.

Aboard Dragon with the crew will be more than 400 pounds of supplies and hardware, including over 150 pounds of which they will use to conduct experiments aboard the space station. Here is some of the research riding with them into low-Earth orbit.

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Former NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abdalati Joins CASIS Board of Directors

Waleed Abdalati

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., October 21, 2021 (CASIS PR) – The Center for the  Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), Inc., manager of the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory, today announced that former NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abdalati, Ph.D., joined the organization’s board of directors. The CASIS Board of Directors seeks to ensure and enhance the utility of the ISS National Lab to further basic and applied space-based research that brings value to our nation and drives a robust market in low Earth orbit.

“The International Space Station is home to a one-of-a-kind laboratory that provides an environment and perspective that allow us to push the frontiers in science as we seek to further understand biology, physics, and our world. It is a privilege to be part of the group that oversees the management and mission of this amazing orbiting national laboratory,” Dr. Abdalati said. 

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ISS National Lab Releases Research Announcement Focused on In-Space Production Applications in Biomanufacturing

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., October 20, 2021 (CASIS PR) – The International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory has unveiled a research announcement seeking proposals to demonstrate biomanufacturing activities in microgravity. Targeted fields such as tissue engineering and biomanufacturing provide use cases for how ISS National Lab-sponsored research may lead to new biological products and tools that benefit humankind and drive a sustainable market in low Earth orbit.

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Funding the Future of European Space Through OSIP in 2021

Credit: ESA

PARIS (ESA PR) — What do high-tech sponges, aircraft shaped like falcons and 3D printers on the Moon have in common?

They can all be found among the topics of the 87 research and development activities funded by ESA’s Discovery & Preparation programme between November 2020 and April 2021.

ESA set up the Open Space Innovation Platform (OSIP) to discover and invest in new unconventional ideas that could greatly benefit and advance European space industry and academia.

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Virgin Galactic Delays Italian Flight Test; Start of Commercial Service Delayed to Q4 2022

Richard Branson celebrates the first Virgin Galactic trade on the New York Stock Exchange. (Credit Virgin Galactic)
  • Recent material testing returned new data that requires further analysis
  • Italian Air Force mission to follow enhancement period
  • Potential supplier component issue has been resolved
  • Commercial service expected to commence in Q4 2022

LAS CRUCES, NM (Virgin Galactic PR) — Virgin Galactic today announced that it will now begin its planned enhancement program for VMS Eve and VSS Unity and will conduct the Unity 23 test flight after this work is complete.

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Updates on the Russian Challenge Mission to the Space Station

Credit: Roscosmos

Roscosmos Mission Updates

Challenge Mission Day 8
October 13

October 13, 2021, the International Space Station Russian segment is a major day: preparations for the return to Earth of the ‘Challenge’ scientific educational project crew. Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy continues preparations and training together with spaceflight participants for the upcoming landing of the Soyuz MS-18 Yuri Gagarin spacecraft.

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