Resupply Mission Brings New Capabilities to Techshot Commercial Space Research System

Techshot Successfully Completes Knee Cartilage Test Prints in Space

GREENVILLE, Ind. (October 5, 2020)The 14th operational Northrop Grumman cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) berthed with the orbiting laboratory today, bringing Techshot hardware that will add new capabilities to the company’s growing catalog of commercially-owned and operated space research equipment.

Launched aboard two previous missions to the ISS U.S. National Laboratory are two identical Techshot designed, manufactured, owned and commercially operated devices that are each known as the Multi-use Variable-gravity Platform or MVP. Each MVP payload, which is approximately the size of a consumer microwave oven, can conduct research with a wide variety of sample types. Since the first Techshot MVP launched to the station in 2018, and the second in 2019, they have been used for research with fruit flies, heart cells, bacteria, tissue chips and cement.

Besides temperature control, some cell culturing research requires the experiment hardware to provide samples with an environment containing 5% carbon dioxide (CO2). While other Techshot devices, such as the company’s Advanced Space Experiment Processor, already have that capability, NG-14 has brought to the station a prototype consumables module that will add it to MVP unit 1. The new module will be installed in the front door of the payload, which is housed in the Japanese space laboratory known as Kibo. Other consumables modules for controlling environmental parameters such as humidity already were successfully tested during previous missions.

Installation of previous type of consumables module in MVP in 2018

The central feature of MVP is a set of two internal 390 mm centrifuges, which besides when remaining still, hosting experiments in microgravity, can rotate to reproduce the gravity of Earth, the moon and Mars. Adding a 5% CO2 capability to MVP will allow Techshot to conduct a broader range of experiments for customers studying the effects of fractional gravity on living cells and tissues.

Founded in 1988, Techshot develops, owns, and commercially operates its own catalog of on-orbit research and manufacturing equipment. Techshot handles all aspects of a research campaign for its customers. From the design and manufacture of spaceflight certified research hardware, to the integration of the hardware and its science payload, the company is a one-stop solutions provider. An official Implementation Partner for the ISS U.S. National Laboratory, Techshot is headquartered in Greenville, Indiana, and maintains an office at the Space Life Science Laboratory at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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Rich Boling                                                                                               
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