Microgravity: The Commercial Case for R&D

Microgravity: The Commercial Case for R&D

What’s the big deal about microgravity? It’s basically just extended free fall in low Earth orbit, but the physics create a unique environment that enables manufacturing that could not happen on Earth. This is a huge advantage to biomedical, agricultural and other industries.

Microgravity has been utilized for academic and research purposes on the International Space Station for 20 years, and with NASA’s plans to decommission the ISS within the next 10 years, commercial companies are developing their own on-orbit platforms for research and development. But to pay the bills, there must be a for-profit justification.

Huntsville, Alabama, has been known as the Rocket City for its pivotal role in the Saturn V that powered the Apollo missions to today’s Space Launch System that will return us to the Moon and take us to Mars. But Huntsville has also played an important role in space science. In fact, Huntsville manages the ISS science payloads 24/7 from NASA’s Payload Operations Integration Center. Check out our video, Huntsville Does Space Science.

Translating that expertise to the commercial sector has been a priority for the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber. Our panel at SXSW – Microgravity: The Commercial Case for R & D – was our latest effort to make this happen. Visit www.asmartplace.com to learn more about this ongoing campaign.

Photo provided by Huntsville

By Olivia Cruz