- Press Release
- Oct 4, 2022
Sierra Space Enters Agreement with Yuri to Launch ScienceTaxi to Space
Sierra Space, a leading commercial space company at the forefront of creating and building the future of space transportation and infrastructure for low-Earth orbit (LEO) commercialization, and Yuri, a Germany-based space biotech company, announced today a new agreement to further medical research in microgravity for the benefit of life on Earth. The arrangement includes plans to launch Yuri’s ScienceTaxi on board Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser spaceplane beginning in 2024, on a mission to the International Space Station (ISS), where the incubator will be used for a variety of life sciences experiments.
The ScienceTaxi is a first-of-its-kind life science incubator facility with temperature control, full automation, and real-time data collection. Hosting up to 38 experiment units – or ScienceShells – the built-in ScienceTaxi centrifuge allows for experiments to be conducted with Earth gravity, as well as moon or Mars gravity as a reference.
Dream Chaser, the first winged, commercial spaceplane, which is designed and built by Sierra Space, will transport Yuri’s ScienceTaxi to the ISS according to the newly-signed Commercial Payload Services Agreement (CPSA). The two companies are also exploring future LEO destinations where Sierra Space’s Large Integrated Flexible Environment (LIFETM) habitat could provide more than 300 cubic meters of on-orbit research space.
“Our agreement with Yuri is another step forward for Sierra Space and our mission to open affordable access to space for all around the world,” said Neeraj Gupta, Sierra Space SVP & GM Space Destinations. “We aim to commercialize space to benefit life on Earth, and the launch of ScienceTaxi with Yuri embodies our collective drive and innovative spirit. Controlled microgravity research is now possible on any orbital or sub-orbital platform thanks to our agreement with Yuri and its ScienceTaxi and ScienceShells.”
“This development is a huge milestone that will give the scientific community access to world-class bio research beyond the ISS,” said Mark Kugel, Co-CEO of Yuri GmbH. “Scientists around the world can secure their research slots on ScienceTaxi with a variety of different experiments possible, such as cell, plants, and crystal experiments. Yuri GmbH is looking forward to this long-term strategic partnership with Sierra Space and is excited about the future in which the Yuri ScienceTaxi will be operating on multiple commercial platforms in LEO and beyond.”
In September 2021, Sierra Space and Yuri announced their intent to explore bold and visionary commercial opportunities for microgravity research that could help create medical breakthroughs by using the benefits of zero gravity in space. The first mission for Yuri’s ScienceTaxi is scheduled to launch in 2024 aboard an ISS visiting vehicle, with payload integration services being provided by Sierra Space.
About Sierra Space
Sierra Space (www.sierraspace.com) is a leading commercial space company at the forefront of innovation and the commercialization of space. With more than 30 years and 500 missions of space flight heritage, Sierra Space is enabling the future of space transportation with Dream Chaser®, the world’s only winged commercial spaceplane. Under construction at its Colorado headquarters and expected to launch in 2023 on the first of a series of NASA missions to the International Space Station, Dream Chaser® can safely carry cargo – and eventually crew – to on-orbit destinations, returning to land on compatible commercial airport runways worldwide. Sierra Space is also building an array of in-space destinations for low Earth orbit (LEO) commercialization including the LIFETM (Large Flexible Integrated Environment) habitat at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, a three-story commercial habitation and science platform designed for LEO. Both Dream Chaser® and LIFETM are central components to Orbital Reef, a mixed-use business park in LEO being developed by principal partners Sierra Space and Blue Origin, which is expected to be operational by 2027.
Headquartered in Meckenbeuren, Germany, Yuri GmbH (www.yurigravity.com) is a space biotech company that makes life science research in microgravity easier and more affordable. With experience from 19 ISS payloads for NASA, ESA, DLR and the likes, the team of 30+ space engineers and biologists supports researchers around the world. Besides launching experiments to the ISS, Yuri develops Random Positioning Machines (RPM, formerly Airbus) and Clinostats for purchase and rental. They also started developing their own line of biotech products formed in microgravity.
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