Signature of an agreement between David Parker, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight and Robotic Exploration, and Leif Steinicke, co-founder of Space Application Services, for the first commercial European opportunity to conduct research in space, at the ESA Pavilion, during the Paris Air and Space Show, on 20 June 2017.
Dubbed ‘Ice Cubes’, the service offers room to run experiments and conduct research in weightlessness inside ESA’s Columbus laboratory on the International Space Station. It will allow experiments to run for over four months in space. Astronaut time and expert advice come as part of the package.
There are many benefits of running research without the effects of gravity, removing these from the equation can simplify our understanding natural phenomena while new manufacturing processes can be improved in weightlessness.
Ice Cubes are small modular containers that slot into a rack in the Columbus laboratory around the size of a microwave oven, connecting to electrical power and monitoring systems. They will transmit experiment data back to Earth through the International Space Station’s infrastructure.