On February 22, 2023, Redwire Chief Growth Officer Mike Gold moderated the “Space Stations of the Future” panel at SpaceCom. The panel explored how the International Space Station (ISS) and microgravity research can be used to support commercial space stations of the future and their barriers to success. Panelists included Dr. Erica Rodgers, NASA Science and Technology Partnerships Lead; Ken Shields, Sierra Space Senior Director of Business Development; and Ryan Prouty, NASA ISS Research Integration Manager.
Mike Gold emphasized how the ISS is a critical platform for advancing technology that is enabling investigations for commercial users, which will one day extend to commercial space stations. As a leader in microgravity research and manufacturing, Redwire has a large and diverse portfolio of equipment and services for conducting breakthrough research and science in microgravity for federal, institutional, and industrial customers on ISS, but these activities are not only beneficial to life on Earth. Microgravity research, like the work Redwire technology is supporting on ISS, is also helping drive demand for services in low-Earth orbit (LEO). This demand will be crucial to the success of commercial space stations and enable humanity’s continuous presence in space.
Redwire’s facilities and services on ISS are being used by researchers for experiments focused on furthering biomedical capabilities, advanced materials manufacturing, and plant biology, demonstrating the breadth of Redwire’s on-orbit capabilities to accelerate more scientific discovery and deliver more beneficial products to Earth. Some of this game-changing technology includes:
- Redwire’s BioFabrication Facility, a bioprinter that 3D prints human cells in space to fabricate complex tissue structures that are impossible to develop in the presence of gravity.
- The Industrial Crystallization Facility, a commercial in-space manufacturing facility designed to demonstrate microgravity-enhanced techniques for growing inorganic KDP crystals that are commonly used in high-energy laser systems on Earth. In June 2022, Redwire announced the first sale of its space-manufactured optical crystal, which marked the first time that a space-enabled materials product has been sold on Earth—a significant milestone for space commercialization and a demand signal for Redwire’s space-based manufacturing.
- Redwire’s Pharmaceutical In-space Laboratory – Bio-crystal Optimization Xperiment, which will be used by Eli Lilly and Company and other pharmaceutical companies to improve the development of pharmaceuticals and other products.
- The Redwire Greenhouse, the first commercial space greenhouse that will be used to improve crop science on Earth and support future space exploration missions.
- The Advanced Plant Habitat, NASA’s automated plant growth facility managed by Redwire and used by research customers to conduct plant growth experiments.
Learn more about Redwire’s BFF and other facilities that are continuing to drive demand in LEO on this Redwire Blog.