LOUISVILLE, Germany- 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 (LIFE™) 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.