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BioScience-3 on board SpaceX CRS-17

May, 4th 2019. Kennedy Space Center (FLA, USA) – The  SpaceX CRS-17 mission with the Falcon 9 Block 5  carry new scientific experiments to the International Space Station with the Dragon capsule. The mission  included BioScience-3, an experiment on the spaceflight effects on vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cell processes. The investigation aims to understand the molecular mechanisms behind vascular cell damage, like those associated with cardiovascular disease on earth, by exposing vascular cells to the microgravity environment onboard the ISS National Lab. The research team will assess changes in the transcriptomics of vascular cells in space, comparing flight samples with ground-based controls. The experiment is developed inside the The STaARS-1 incubator  active on International Space Station (US-Lab) and has been used for the execution of various biological experiments. In this mission, the automatic cell culture in microgravity has been performed using the Kayser Italia bioreactors type KEU-RO. All experiments executed within STaARS-1 up to now have been controlled by Kayser Italia KAB Controller (follow the link for more information).


Nano Antioxidants (NANO) experiment on the next SpaceX CRS-17 mission


UPDATE April, 30th 2019 – Kennedy Space Center (FLA, USA) – The next SpaceX CRS-17 mission with the Falcon 9 Block 5 launcher will carry new scientific experiments to the International Space Station with the Dragon capsule. These will include the Nano Antioxidants (NANO) experiment developed by Kayser Italia for a scientific team of Italian Institute of Technology under the SciSpacE programme of the European Space Agency (ESA).

The NANO experiment is planned to be performed in KUBIK in the Columbus module of the ISS. The NANO experiment tests nanoceria as antioxidant agents under conditions of microgravity, with the goal of counteracting the detrimental effects of microgravity-induced oxidative stress. The objective of the team is to investigate innovative approaches for cellular stimulation, to counteract the negative effects of long-term microgravity on the musculoskeletal system.

 The Falcon 9 is expected to lift off on May, 3rd 2019 while the Dragon capsule is expected to reach the ISS on May,5th 2019.


  (Image credits Kayser Italia)




NUTRISS experiment launched


17 April 2019, Wallops Island (Virginia, USA) – The first two experiments for the Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano’s mission “Beyond” has been launched to the International Space Station on board the Cygnus NG-11 cargo spacecraft. One of the experiments is named “NUTRISS” and it has been developed by Kayser Italia in collaboration with the team of Prof. Gianni Biolo of the University of Trieste (Italy). The experiment aims to monitor the astronaut energy balance during his long-term spaceflight, measuring mass and body composition. The body composition data will transmitted to ground to the scientific team that will provide feedback for the nutrition. See the NUTRISS web page for more information on the investigation. The Cygnus NG-11 is expect to reach the ISS on April, 19th 2019 while the launch of the Soyuz MS-13 with Luca Parmitano is expected on July, 20th 2019, the day of the anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon.




 (Image credits Kayser Italia)


ColKa “Columbus Ka-band antenna”

Livorno, Italy – April 2019 – A Kayser Italia team is now busy in the final tests of the ColKa “Columbus Ka-band antenna” system at the ESTEC Test Centre in Noordwijk, The Netherlands. The new Euroepan communication system is now passing the final environmental tests before its launch to the ISS where it will be accommodated outside the Columbus laboratory.

Once installed outside the International Space Station (see picture) the “ColKa” system will link the Columbus European laboratory to the geostationary “European Data Relay Satellite” (EDRS), offering an high speed data link to astronauts and researchers.

Kayser Italia is participating to the ColKa project as prime “Embarkation contractor” for the mechanical Platform, i.e. the support panels and structure designed to withstand thermal and structural environments, and interfacing with the “COLKa Terminal” equipment, the Columbus module and the launch vehicle/temporary on-orbit stowage location. The Platform provides structural support, thermal control and stability and where possible radiation shielding and protection against space debris and micrometeorites for the installed Terminal equipment. Kayser Italia is also responsible for the interconnecting harness between the Platform and Columbus module.

Other than the benefits that a broadband speed link will offer to payload and investigations, ColKa has let many European industries to mature know-how and capabilities to other extreme space applications like the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway or interplanetary expeditions.


Columbus Ka-band system "ColKa" on ISS Columbus module
(Image credits Kayser Italia)