Squid Launching Aboard Next SpaceX Cargo Dragon in New Techshot Device

GREENVILLE, Ind. (May 28, 2021) – When Techshot Inc., launches its newest payload to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard SpaceX mission CRS-22 June 3, the company’s multi-purpose device known as the Advanced Space Experiment Processor 2, or ADSEP2, will carry 128 live squid for its customer, the University of Florida’s Dr. Jamie Foster.

Dr. Foster’s experiment, titled Understanding of Microgravity on Animal-Microbe Interactions (UMAMI), examines the effects of spaceflight on the molecular and chemical interactions between beneficial microbes and their animal hosts. Gravity’s role in shaping these interactions is not well understood and microgravity provides the opportunity to improve that understanding. The project uses a simplified symbiosis between the bobtail squid, Euprymna scolopes, and its symbiotic bacterium, Vibrio fischeri.

Microbes play a critical role in maintaining human health, and disruption of beneficial host-microbe interactions can potentially lead to disease. This investigation could support development of protective measures and mitigation for such alterations to preserve astronaut health on long-duration space missions. This study also could lead to a better understanding of the complex interactions between Earth-bound animals and beneficial microbes, including new and novel pathways that microbes use to communicate with animal tissues. Such knowledge could support identification of ways to protect and even enhance these relationships for better human health and well-being. For more about the UMAMI experiment:  https://go.nasa.gov/3vJ3xpW.

The squid are housed inside bags in two lunchbox size cassettes that are inserted in the microwave oven size ADSEP2, which provides power and thermal control to the experiment cassettes. In a first for Techshot, the in-space portion of the research will be completed autonomously by ADSEP2 aboard the uncrewed SpaceX Cargo Dragon capsule, rather than inside the ISS. At the end of the experiment, astronauts will remove the cassettes from ADSEP2 and prepare them for return to Earth at the end of the CRS-22 mission in July.

The ADSEP2 locker itself will be left aboard the ISS as a new commercial resource for industrial and institutional research and manufacturing. Besides squid, ADSEP2 can process a wide variety of other life and physical science materials.

Techshot has manufactured three ADSEP2 units and dozens of experiment cassettes, all of which will continually rotate to and from the station aboard later missions. They are the latest additions to the company’s catalog of flight-proven space research and manufacturing equipment, which also includes two of its first-generation ADSEP units; its 3D BioFabrication Facility (BFF); its Bone Densitometer (BD) X-ray machine for live mice; and two of its Multi-use Variable-gravity Platform (MVP) dual-centrifuge units. The BD, and both MVP units, are already aboard the ISS.

Other Techshot payloads for drug manufacturing and cell manufacturing – the Pharmaceutical In-space Laboratory (PIL) and the Cell Factory, respectively – are in development by the company. A prototype of the PIL system is expected to be tested aboard the ISS next year. Besides research with its own equipment, Techshot also manages experiments using NASA’s Advanced Plant Habitat and the agency’s two space station furnaces.

About Techshot

Techshot has agreements with NASA and the ISS U.S. National Laboratory that permit it to operate its equipment aboard the station, and manage all aspects of a research or manufacturing campaign for its customers – serving as a one-stop commercial gateway to space. Founded in 1988, the company is headquartered in Greenville, Indiana, and maintains an office at the Space Life Science Laboratory at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.


Techshot | Flickr photos of ADSEP2 and squid


Three Techshot-Managed Projects Launch Aboard SpaceX Mission CRS-21

GREENVILLE, Ind. (December 6, 2020Three Techshot-managed projects launched this morning aboard a SpaceX Cargo Dragon spacecraft on a resupply mission to the International Space Station. Lifting off at 11:17 a.m. EST from historic pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, the manifest for SpaceX mission CRS-21 includes a microgravity research investigation for a Techshot customer developing better treatments for osteoarthritis, and another that is studying molten aluminum aboard the station to help develop new in-space metal construction and repair techniques. Techshot’s third payload aboard CRS-21 is 1 kg of promotional items being sold to the public after the mission by a European startup company.

MVP Cell-06

The Cartilage–Bone–Synovium Micro-Physiological System Investigation Using the Multi-use Variable-G Platform, more commonly referred to as the MVP Cell-06 investigation, will study the effects of spaceflight on musculoskeletal disease biology, specifically, post-traumatic osteoarthritis and bone loss using a tissue-on-a-chip cartilage-bone-synovium joint model. Post-traumatic osteoarthritis causes about 12 percent of osteoarthritis of the hip, knee, and ankle and is a common condition in otherwise healthy (young to middle-aged) individuals, affecting about 5.6 million people in the United States. This project represents a relevant human tissue-on-chip platform with the potential to provide several pharmacological treatment options for osteoarthritis patients. For more information about MVP Cell-06 see https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=8273. And https://images.nasa.gov/details-KSC-20201125-MH-CSH01_0001-CRS-21_Media_Bag_Filling-3264127

This is the second ISS U.S. National Laboratory investigation focused on this tissue-on-a-chip platform from the Grodzinsky Lab at MIT that resulted from a funding opportunity from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, one of the 27 institutes and centers at the National Institutes of Health. The MVP Cell-01 investigation launched last year aboard SpaceX CRS-17. For more information about MVP Cell-01 see https://www.issnationallab.org/blog/joint-jeopardy-mit-researchers-use-space-to-solve-the-chronic-pain-of-osteoarthritis/. Two Techshot-developed, owned and commercially operated MVP units, each with two internal centrifuges, permanently reside aboard the ISS. Today’s cargo resupply mission carries eight experiment modules that will be inserted into one of the MVP units by the crew for processing. At the conclusion of the experiment they will be removed and returned to Earth in the same Cargo Dragon capsule.


SpaceX CRS-21 also is carrying supplies for the BRazing of Aluminum alloys IN Space investigation, also known as SUBSA-BRAINS, which examines differences in capillary flow, interface reactions, and bubble formation during solidification of brazing alloys in microgravity. Brazing technology bonds similar materials (such as an aluminum alloy to aluminum) or dissimilar ones (such as aluminum alloy to ceramics) at temperatures above 450 °C. It is a potential tool for construction of human space habitats and manufactured systems as well as repair of damage from micrometeoroids or space debris. Brazing aboard the ISS will take place inside the Solidification Using a Baffle in Sealed Ampoules (SUBSA) furnace, which Techshot manages under a contract with NASA.

Toucan Space

Besides developing and operating space research and manufacturing equipment, Techshot also provides commercial companies with access to space for purely promotional purposes. Paris, France-based startup Toucan Space contracted with the company coordinate the flight of a 1kg package containing commemorative postcards, patches and stickers. The items are available for purchase by the public at are available for purchase on the Toucan Space website. https://www.toucanspace.com/space-flown-items/


Founded in 1988, Techshot develops, owns and commercially-operates in space a large catalog of its own microgravity research and manufacturing equipment – such as MVP, and its 3D BioFabrication Facility. Besides SUBSA, the company also manages NASA’s space-based PFMI research furnace, as well as the agency’s Advanced Plant Habitat, which just produced a bumper crop of space-grown radishes.

For more information about Techshot





Techshot | Flickr


Techshot Successfully Completes Knee Cartilage Test Prints in Space

            GREENVILLE, Ind. (April 6, 2020) – Commercial space company Techshot Inc., used its space-based 3D bioprinter, called the BioFabrication Facility, or BFF, to successfully manufacture test prints of a partial human meniscus aboard the International Space Station (ISS) last month. The meniscus pattern was manufactured for the company’s customer, the 4-Dimensional Bioprinting, Biofabrication, and Biomanufacturing, or 4D Bio3 program, based at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU). The program is a collaboration between the university and The Geneva Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that advances military medical research.


Three Techshot-managed Research Campaigns Launching Aboard SpaceX Mission CRS-20

GREENVILLE, Ind. (March 2, 2020) – Commercial space company Techshot Inc., will send equipment and samples supporting plant, heart and cartilage research for three of its customers to the International Space Station (ISS) on SpaceX mission CRS-20. Scheduled to launch at 11:50 p.m. EST on March 6 from space launch complex 40 at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the unpiloted cargo spacecraft is expected to arrive at the orbiting laboratory two days later. Techshot customers on board CRS-20 include NASA, Emory University, and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU).


Techshot Supplies Launching to International Space Station

GREENVILLE, Ind. (February 7, 2020) – Techshot supplies supporting experiments scheduled for later this year are expected to launch to the International Space Station at 5:39 a.m. EST Sunday, February 9 aboard an uncrewed Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo freighter. The mission, known as NG-13, will launch from pad OA at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Space Port in Wallops Island, Virginia.


Success: 3D Bioprinter in Space Prints With Human Heart Cells

GREENVILLE, Ind. (January 7, 2020) – A 3D bioprinter privately owned by an American company has successfully printed with a large volume of human heart cells aboard the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory. Owned by Techshot Inc., a commercial operator of microgravity research and manufacturing equipment, the 3D BioFabrication Facility (BFF) was developed in partnership with nScrypt, a manufacturer of industrial 3D bioprinters and electronics printers. The tissue-like constructs return to Earth this week inside a SpaceX capsule.


NASA Uses Techshot MVP in First of its Kind Space Experiment

GREENVILLE, Ind. (July 16, 2019) – We’re grateful to be selected to provide the Techshot Multi-use Variable-gravity Platform (MVP), and integration services, for this terrific space research campaign scheduled to launch to the International Space Station on Sunday, July 21 aboard SpaceX mission CRS-18. Our NASA Ames Research Center NASA Space Biology customers have been amazing to work with preparing for the MVP-Cell-02 experiment. Checkout the link below for more about this first-of-its-kind project.  https://www.nasa.gov/ames/research/space-biosciences/mvp-cell-02-spacex-18

Patch design commemorates the collaboration between NASA and Techshot on the MVP-Cell-02 space experiment
Patch design commemorates the collaboration between NASA and Techshot on the MVP-Cell-02 space experiment

Rich Boling                                                                                               

Quest For Manufacturing Human Tissue In Space Via 3D Printer to Be Launched In July

GREENVILLE, Ind. (June 3, 2019) – Two high-tech companies have teamed up to develop the first 3D printer capable of manufacturing human tissue in the microgravity condition of space. Techshot Inc., a commercial developer and operator of spaceflight equipment; and nScrypt, a manufacturer of the world’s most advanced industrial 3D bioprinters and electronics printers, developed the 3D BioFabrication Facility (BFF). The BFF will use adult human cells (such as stem or pluripotent cells) and adult tissue-derived proteins as its bioink to create viable tissue. A small bio-ink startup, Bioficial Organs, also was consulted on the project. It will launch to the International Space Station in July aboard the SpaceX CRS-18 cargo mission from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.


Techshot Research Equipment Launching Aboard SpaceX Mission CRS-17

Techshot Research Equipment Launching Aboard SpaceX Mission CRS-17

— Specially Developed Experiment Modules Contain MIT Tissue Chips —

GREENVILLE, Ind. (April 26, 2019) – An uncrewed SpaceX cargo resupply spacecraft scheduled to launch to the International Space Station May 1 will contain experiment modules specially-developed by Techshot Inc., for a Massachusetts Institute of Technology tissue chip experiment. Tissue chip devices are designed as accurate models of the structure and function of human tissues such as the lungs, liver, heart and bone.