Swiss-Israeli company SpacePharma says its miniature lab is a new way for researchers to work in microgravity for extended periods. Jim Drury reports.
This is a laboratory shrunk to the size of a tissue box. One very similar was launched into space on board a satellite by India's national space agency last month. The mini-labs are the work of Swiss-Israeli firm SpacePharma. The firm says a series of experiments on board were completed successfully in microgravity. SOUNDBITE (English) YOSSI YAMIN, SPACEPHARMA FOUNDER, SAYING: "SpacePharma provides the first ever designed launch commercial satellite laboratory that now is available for many clients wherever they are, in order to be able them to run their own designed experiments in microgravity, without man in the loop, no astronauts, no space agencies and this is the new technology that we are now proposing to the market, in order to develop better drugs, better medicines, better research and better products for humanity." Most experiments are sent up to the International Space Station and carried out with the help of astronauts…. ….or they're conducted on special plane flights that enjoy short bursts of weightlessness. But the mini-lab allows scientists to conduct experiments remotely from anywhere on Earth. In microgravity, cells and molecules behave differently. SOUNDBITE (English) YOSSI YAMIN, SPACEPHARMA FOUNDER, SAYING: "This environment (space) is a different stress environment. So the temperature, the stress, the non gravitation, the density of the molecules or the liquids, is not happening there. And this is not a simulator or a centrifuge that you have like side effects on the molecules. " By next year SpacePharma hope up to 160 concurrent experiments will be possible on satellites. The firm says experiments in microgravity could lead to discoveries in medicine and agriculture.