Commercial Centrifuge Facility for the ISS
Commercial Hardware Ready for U.S. National Lab on NASA’s International Space Station
(Houston, Texas) Astrium North America is proud to announce that Astrium Space Transportation and NanoRacks LLC have teamed up to offer a cost‐effective, commercial centrifuge facility for the International Space Station.
Astrium Space Transportation is handing over on the 14th of February to NanoRacks LLC a gravitational research centrifuge marking a new era of commercial utilization of the U.S. National Lab. The handover will take place at Astrium North America’s Houston facility.
The centrifuge will allow researchers to perform research under various gravity levels, including Mars and Moon conditions or as 1‐G control to contrast results with microgravity projects conducted on the space station.
Astrium North America is pleased to be involved in this truly commercial and collaborative project with NanoRacks, working together with NASA toward the enhancement of science facility capabilities on ISS. “This centrifuge facility is a first small step in adding commercially available science facilities to the ISS, but we think one in the right direction, and look forward to similar developments and collaborations in the near future” said Carl Kuehnel, Senior Project Manager Astrium North America.
“We are delighted to permanently house the Astrium centrifuge on our third NanoRacks’ Platform, one dedicated to basic and industrial research, with higher power than our first two Platforms now on space station” said Jeffrey Manber, Managing Director of NanoRacks . The NR‐3 Platform, along with the Astrium Centrifuge, are manifested on the Russian cargo ship Progress scheduled to be launched to the space station in the summer of 2012.
The hardware, and its home on NanoRacks Platform‐3, has been solely funded by the two companies in a demonstration of support for researchers’ needs for sophisticated research tools in low‐earth orbit. The ability of the NanoRacks’ Platform and the Centrifuge to be produced in a short period of time at low cost shows that the private sector has a critical role to play in supporting the infrastructure in low‐earth orbit and beyond. Both companies expect more announcements in the near future on further joint projects.
Astrium North America is able to provide existing high‐quality life science equipment developed by Astrium Space Transportation and supported by Kayser Italia to US companies for commercial use. Astrium North America continues to pursue opportunities to leverage existing, quality life science equipment from Europe giving commercial space companies a production edge. “Leveraging off the shelf, space tested life science hardware can be a great benefit to a commercial space project” said Ron Dunklee, CEO Astrium North America. Please contact Astrium North America for a complete catalog of existing life science hardware.
About Astrium North America
Founded in 1973, Astrium North America is a U.S. based corporation, with affiliations to Astrium Space Transportation, specializing in external cargo carrier development, experiment and payload processing, life and physical sciences hardware, integration services, operations, program and project management, software engineering, and flight simulation and training for the international aerospace community. Please visit http://www.astrium‐na.com or call (832) 224‐4544 and follow us at @astriumna.
NanoRacks LLC was formed in 2009 to provide quality hardware and services for the U.S. National Laboratory onboard the International Space Station. The company developed and has two research platforms onboard the U.S. National Laboratory which can house plug and play payloads using the CubeSat form factor. The current signed customer pipeline of over 50 payloads including domestic and international educational institutions, research organizations and government organizations, has propelled NanoRacks into a leadership position in understanding the emerging commercial market for low‐earth orbit utilization. Visit us at http://nanoracks.com and follow us at @nanoracks.