Sierra Space, a commercial space company at the forefront of creating and building the future of space transportation and infrastructure for the commercialization of low Earth orbit (LEO), and Yuri, a German space biotechnology company, announced a new agreement on Wednesday. to promote medical research in microgravity for the benefit of life on Earth.
the deal includes plans to launch Yuri’s ScienceTaxi aboard Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser space plane starting in 2024, on a mission to the International Space Station (ISS), where the incubator will be used for a variety of life science experiments.
ScienceTaxi is the first life science incubation facility of its kind with temperature control, full automation, and real-time data collection. Housing up to 38 experiment units, or ScienceShells, the built-in ScienceTaxi centrifuge allows experiments to be performed using Earth’s gravity, as well as the gravity of the Moon or Mars as a reference.
Dream Chaser, the first winged commercial spaceplane designed and built by Sierra Space, will transport Yuri’s ScienceTaxi to the ISS, under the recently signed Commercial Payload Services Agreement (CPSA). The two companies are also exploring future LEO destinations. where Sierra Space’s Large Integrated Flexible Environment (LIFE) habitat could provide more than 300 cubic meters of research space in orbit.
“Our agreement with Yuri is another step forward for Sierra Space and our mission to open affordable access to space for everyone,” said Neeraj Gupta, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Space Destinations at Sierra Space. “Our goal is to commercialize space to benefit life on Earth, and launching ScienceTaxi with Yuri embodies our collective drive and innovative spirit. Controlled microgravity research is now possible on any orbital or suborbital platform thanks to our agreement with Yuri and his ScienceTaxi and ScienceShells.”
“This development is a major milestone that will provide the scientific community with access to world-class bioresearch beyond the ISS,” said Mark Kugel, Co-CEO of Yuri GmbH. “Scientists from around the world can secure their research slots on ScienceTaxi with a variety of different possible experiments, such as experiments with cells, plants and crystals. Yuri looks forward to this long-term strategic partnership with Sierra Space and is excited about the future where Yuri ScienceTaxi will operate on multiple commercial platforms in LEO and beyond.”
In September 2021, Sierra Space and Yuri announced their intention to explore bold and visionary business opportunities for microgravity research that could help create medical advances by using the benefits of zero gravity in space.
The first mission of Yuri’s ScienceTaxi is scheduled to launch in 2024 aboard an ISS Visitor Vehicle, with payload integration services provided by Sierra Space.