Press Release

Multiple Technology Development Payloads Highlighting Packed Northrop Grumman CRS-14 Mission to the Space Station

By SpaceRef Editor
September 24, 2020
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 Northrop Grumman will launch its 14th commercial resupply services (CRS) mission to the International Space Station (ISS) no earlier than September 29 at 10:26 p.m. ET, sending thousands of pounds of critical research and supplies to the orbiting laboratory. This mission, contracted through NASA, will bring into orbit more than 20 payloads sponsored by the ISS U.S. National Laboratory—all aimed at leveraging the unique environment of the space station to further establish a sustainable market in low Earth orbit and advance scientific knowledge that will bring value to our nation.

Over the years, the ISS National Lab has supported dozens of technology development investigations in a variety of scientific disciplines, and Northrop Grumman CRS-14 includes several ISS National Lab–sponsored payloads focused on technology demonstration and facility validation.

  • On this mission, Northrop Grumman not only serves as the launch provider but will also send its own payload to the space station—SharkSat. The SharkSat prototype demonstration is a small payload that will mount to the Cygnus spacecraft and will collect telemetry data to demonstrate the feasibility of new sensor and processing technologies in low Earth orbit.
  • Made In Space will launch its fifth facility for validation on this mission. The company will send a ceramic manufacturing facility to the ISS for commercial use to produce turbine components with improved performance for use in the aerospace industry. This is the latest effort from Made In Space to expand its in-space manufacturing capabilities for consumers on Earth.
  • Felix & Paul Studios will launch the first-ever 360 degree camera designed to capture footage during a spacewalk (extravehicular activity). This camera will assist in the collection of virtual reality footage of astronauts working outside of the space station and will be part of an upcoming series intended to engage and educate the public on living and working in space. 
  • The Reduced Gravity Gecko Adhesion docking Experiments(REGGAE) investigation, being done in collaboration with Nanoracks, seeks to demonstrate the automated docking between a chaser satellite and a target satellite, simulating orbital debris removal. This experiment will test the ability of gecko-inspired micropatterned dry adhesives—which leverage weak electrostatic forces called van-der-Waals forces to grab surfaces—to catch orbital debris. The demonstration will be carried out on the inside of the ISS with the assistance of Astrobee satellites.

Also on this mission, multiple ongoing projects seeking to advance technology for the in-space manufacturing of optical fiber will receive additional resupply to further their objective of producing high-quality fibers in low Earth orbit for consumers on the ground.

These technology development investigations are just a few of the payloads sponsored by the ISS National Lab that are launching on Northrop Grumman CRS-14. To learn more about all of the ISS National Lab–sponsored payloads flying on this mission, please visit the ISS National Lab’s Northrop Grumman CRS-14 mission overview page.

About the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory: In 2005, Congress designated the U.S. portion of the ISS as the nation’s newest national laboratory to optimize its use for improving quality of life on Earth, promoting collaboration among diverse users, and advancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. This unique laboratory environment is available for use by non-NASA U.S. government agencies, academic institutions, and the private sector. The ISS National Lab manages access to the permanent microgravity research environment, a powerful vantage point in low Earth orbit, and the extreme and varied conditions of space. The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space is the non-profit responsible for management of the ISS National Lab.

SpaceRef staff editor.