Blue Origin Scrubs New Shepard Suborbital Microgravity Flight Due to Weather

KENT, Wash. (Blue Origin PR) — Today’s NS-23 launch is scrubbed due to weather. We’re continuing to track the weather in West Texas. Our next launch window for NS-23 opens tomorrow at 8:30 AM CDT / 13:30 UTC. Live webcast starts at T-20 minutes.

New Shepard’s 23rd mission, a dedicated payloads flight, will fly 36 payloads from academia, research institutions, and students across the globe.

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NS-23 to Fly 36 Payloads and Tens of Thousands of Club for the Future Postcards to Space

New Shepard (NS-14) lifts off from Blue Origin’s Launch Site One in West Texas. (Credits: Blue Origin)

SEATTLE (Blue Origin PR) — On August 31, New Shepard’s 23rd mission, a dedicated payloads flight, will fly 36 payloads from academia, research institutions, and students across the globe. The launch window opens at 8:30 AM CDT / 13:30 UTC from Launch Site One in West Texas. 

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NREL Selected for Space-Bound Research To Solve the Plastic Waste Dilemma

NREL researchers Katrina Knauer and Allison Werner will study how spaceflight can affect the composition and function of microbial activities. (Image Credit: Bryan Bechtold, NREL)

WASHINGTON (NREL PR) — Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will send an engineered bacteria into space as early as next year as part of ongoing research into solving the problem of plastic waste mitigation on Earth.

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Artemis I to Launch First-of-a-Kind Deep Space Biology Mission

NASA’s BioSentinel mission will go beyond the Moon to perform the first long-duration deep space biology experiment. Set to launch with the first flight of the Space Launch System rocket, Artemis I, the spacecraft will study the effects of space radiation on yeast cells. The results could inspire solutions to keep future astronauts healthy during deep space exploration. (Credits: NASA/Ames Research Center)

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — Poised to launch on Artemis I from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida,  BioSentinel – a shoebox-sized CubeSat – will perform the first long-duration biology experiment in deep space. Artemis missions at the Moon will prepare humans to travel on increasingly farther and longer-duration missions to destinations like Mars, and BioSentinel will carry microorganisms, in the form of yeast, to fill critical gaps in knowledge about the health risks in deep space posed by space radiation.

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ISS National Lab and Estée Lauder Announce Two Winning Concepts of the Sustainability Challenge: Beyond Plastics

Funded by exclusive partner Estée Lauder, the winning projects will have the opportunity to conduct research on the International Space Station

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2022 (CASIS PR) – On July 28, 2022, the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory announced two winning concepts from its Sustainability Challenge: Beyond Plastics. The winning concepts will receive funding for their research proposals from the exclusive challenge partner, global prestige beauty brand Estée Lauder, and will have the opportunity to launch their research to the orbiting laboratory.

The challenge, put forth by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, Inc., manager of the ISS National Lab, in partnership with Estée Lauder, sought project concepts to advance sustainability research on the space station that address the worldwide plastic waste dilemma. The selected projects were announced at the 11th annual ISS Research and Development Conference in Washington, D.C.

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Redwire to Develop Space-Based Drug Development and Manufacturing Platform

Credit: Redwire

Eli Lilly and Company is first investigator using new platform  

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (July 28, 2022) –Redwire Corporation (NYSE:RDW), a leader in space infrastructure for the next generation space economy, announced that it will be developing new in-space manufacturing technology to provide novel and flexible services to grow small-batch crystals of protein-based pharmaceuticals and other key pharmaceutically relevant molecules for research and production. The Pharmaceutical In-space Laboratory – Bio-crystal Optimization Xperiment (PIL-BOX) will provide commercial customers and researchers an innovative platform in microgravity that could improve the development of pharmaceuticals and other products.

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Entering the Decade of Results: International Space Station Benefits for Humanity Publication Released

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — The 2022 edition of the International Space Station Benefits for Humanity publication is now available. This updated edition is packed with numerous benefits of the microgravity laboratory highlighting groundbreaking discoveries helping society, technologies tested for future space exploration, new scientific breakthroughs, and contributions to the growing low-Earth orbit (LEO) economy.

Over more than two decades, the International Space Station has evolved into an advanced microgravity laboratory for human space operations and science. The space station offers researchers worldwide the opportunity to utilize the unique environmental conditions of LEO, supporting hundreds of experiments across every major scientific field at any given time. With over 20 years of research and 3,300 experiments hosted aboard the station, now more than ever discoveries and developments are taking shape. The station’s ability to foster research has aided in the growing commercial space economy allowing new players to enter the space marketplace and launching flourishing businesses back on Earth.

“This edition focuses on new areas of scientific study that are resulting from the last two decades of ISS research, future technologies for the exploration of the Moon and Mars, lifesaving discoveries, and the companies and economic benefits enabled by this research.” said Dr. Kirt Costello, chief scientist for the space station at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

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Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil Reaches Space Station

ROME (ASI PR) — The samples of Italian extra virgin olive oil have reached the International Space Station, thanks to a project included in the framework of the agreement between the Italian Space Agency and CREA, in collaboration with Coldiretti and Unaprol-Consorzio Olivicolo Italiano.

As part of its role as National Agency, ASI promoted the project and, in the context of its institutional relations with other Space Agencies and as a country participating in the ISS program, made available the opportunity to fly and coordination with ESA necessary for the implementation of the experiment.

The collaboration with Coldiretti and Unaprol-Consorzio Olivicolo Italiano aims to underline the importance of the Italian agri-food heritage and to enhance and sensitize an asset for the country’s exports, as well as to promote the principles of proper nutrition.

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Dragon Docks Delivering Science Benefitting Humans

The SpaceX Dragon resupply ship approaches the space station during an orbital sunrise above the Pacific Ocean. (Credit: NASA TV)

NASA Mission Update

While the International Space Station was traveling more than 267 miles over the South Atlantic Ocean, the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft autonomously docked to the forward-facing port of the station’s Harmony module at 11:21 a.m. EDT today, with NASA astronauts Bob Hines and Jessica Watkins monitoring operations from the station.

The Dragon launched on SpaceX’s 25th contracted commercial resupply mission for NASA at 8:44 p.m., Thursday, July 14, from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. After Dragon spends about one month attached to the space station, the spacecraft will return to Earth with cargo and research.

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NASA, SpaceX Launch Climate Science Research, More to Space Station

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 14, 2022, with a Cargo Dragon spacecraft aboard for SpaceX’s 25th resupply mission to the International Space Station. (Credits: NASA TV)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — A SpaceX Dragon resupply spacecraft carrying more than 5,800 pounds of science experiments, crew supplies, and other cargo is on its way to the International Space Station after launching at 8:44 p.m. EDT Thursday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The spacecraft launched on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy for the company’s 25th commercial resupply services mission for NASA. It is scheduled to autonomously dock at the space station about 11:20 a.m. Saturday, July 16, and remain there for about a month. Coverage of arrival will begin at 10 a.m. on NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app.

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Suborbital Spaceflight by the Numbers

New Shepard launches on its 21st flight of the program on June 4, 2022. (Credit: Blue Origin)

Part II of II

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The first half of 2022 was a busy period in suborbital space with 23 launches conducted that did not involve tests of ballistic missiles or defensive systems. Twelve people flew above the Karman line, new boosters and space technologies were tested, and the first commercial suborbital launch was conducted from Australia. And some science was done.

We covered the above mentioned flights in depth in a story published on Tuesday. In this piece we’ll look a broader look at who launched what, when, where, why and on what.

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A Busy Six Months as Suborbital Spaceflight Comes Into its Own

New Shepard lands after the NS-21 flight. (Credit: Blue Origin webcast)

Part I of II

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

For decades, the suborbital launch sector was largely a backwater. Militaries tested ballistic missiles, scientists conducted experiments, and engineers tested new technologies. A sounding rocket is small potatoes compared with orbital rocket launches and the glamor of human spaceflight. Few people paid much attention.

All that has changed in recent years as Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin and their billionaire owners — Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos — started launching themselves and others on suborbital joyrides. Startups have been conducting suborbital flight tests of new orbital launch vehicles designed to serve the booming smalls satellite market. Suborbital has become a much more interesting sector.

This year has been no exception. The first half of 2022 saw Blue Origin send 12 people into space on two New Shepard flights, a Chinese company conduct six launches in a program to develop aa suborbital spaceplane and hypersonic transport, South Korea and Iran perform flight tests of three different smallsat launchers, Germany test technologies for reusable rockets, and first-ever commercial launch from Australia. And, a great deal of science was done.

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International Space Station National Lab Sponsoring Diverse Set of Experiments Launching on SpaceX CRS-25

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (CASIS PR) – A wide variety of research and technology development payloads sponsored by the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory will soon launch to the orbiting laboratory. These payloads are among the more than 4,700 pounds of cargo onboard SpaceX’s 25th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission (contracted by NASA), launching no earlier than 8:44 p.m. EDT on Thursday, July 14, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

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NIH-Funded Tissue Chip Investigations to Fly on SpaceX CRS-25 Mission to the ISS

Tissue chips for a UCSF investigation are prepared for launch to the ISS onboard Space CRS-25. (Credit: Sonja Schrepfer, University of California, San Francisco)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (CASIS PR) – In the absence of effective countermeasures, prolonged spaceflight can result in many of the same physiological changes associated with aging—bone loss, muscle deterioration, and altered immune system function—only at a much quicker rate. This makes the microgravity environment of the International Space Station (ISS) a valuable platform for research on conditions associated with the aging process.

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NSF-Funded Research to Improve Manufacturing of Everyday Products and Medicines Will Launch on SpaceX CRS-25

A SpaceX Cargo Dragon resupply ship departs the space station during a previous mission in July 2021. (Credit: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (CASIS PR) – From salad dressing to foam body wash, many everyday products could get an eco-friendly upgrade thanks to microgravity research. The City College of New York (CCNY) is launching an investigation to the International Space Station (ISS) on SpaceX’s 25th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to test more eco-friendly ways to create foam products (which consist of gas bubbles dispersed in liquids or solids) and products made through emulsion (when tiny droplets of one liquid are dispersed in another fluid).

However, this is not the only investigation on SpaceX CRS-25 aiming to improve products used by millions of people worldwide. Researchers from Arizona State University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) are leveraging the ISS National Laboratory to improve the mass production of pharmaceuticals like vaccines. These investigations are funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and seek to use the unique space environment to help answer scientific questions that have been challenging to address on the ground.

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