DENVER, Dec. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Voyager Space, a global leader in space exploration, and Nanoracks, a Voyager Space company and the world's leading provider of commercial space services, today announced that The Universities Space Research Association, ZIN Technologies, The Ohio State University, and the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation have been selected as the founding leadership team of the George Washington Carver (GWC) Science Park on the Starlab commercial space station. The GWC Science Park, established by Nanoracks, is the world's first-ever science park in space, operating today on the International Space Station (ISS), and soon on future commercial platforms.
"We are excited to announce this exceptional and renowned team of global experts joining Nanoracks on our mission to build and operate the Starlab GWC Science Park and to enable a sustainable space research and industrial economy," said Marshal Smith, Senior Vice President of Space Systems at Nanoracks. "Our team looks forward to collaborating with each of these adept organizations as we design the first-ever continuously crewed, free-flying commercial space station and honor one of the greatest scientists in American history."
The GWC Science Park will leverage a successful terrestrial business model where scientists and industry experts share findings, collaborate, and use new technologies to advance both scientific and commercial endeavors. This effort compliments Nanoracks' long history in supporting universities, start-up companies, non-profits, and other organizations' research on the ISS. The GWC Science Park goals will be accomplished within its four main operational components, which will include a biology lab, plant habitation lab, physical science and materials research lab, and an open workbench area.
The roles of each initial consortium member are as follows:
- Universities Space Research Association (USRA) – Cleveland, OH: USRA is a trusted NASA research partner and fields among the largest collections of space-specialized principal investigators. USRA will manage the GWC and drive use within its existing network.
- ZIN Technologies (ZIN) – Middleburg Heights, OH: ZIN is a leader in providing advanced engineering solutions and product development for NASA, DOD, and private industry. Since 2001, ZIN has lead design, development, and operations of biological and physical science facilities and instruments on the ISS. ZIN will develop the customer research and lab hardware production in collaboration with Nanoracks and Lockheed Martin.
- The Ohio State University (Ohio State) – Columbus, OH: Ohio State will lead university business and research development efforts and drive academic and agricultural technology (AgTech) activities, through the College of Engineering and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Ohio State will also develop a ground-analog laboratory for terrestrial control missions in 1-G (Earth gravity) while paralleling space science activities and serving as a training facility for Principal Investigators to accustom themselves to the space research environment
- The International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP) – Málaga, Spain: IASP is an organization of over 300 science and technology parks that links over 115,000 tech-based companies and research partners with representation on every continent. IASP will coordinate Starlab's global outreach efforts to the science community. Nanoracks' existing commercial research lab on the International Space Station is the first IASP member laboratory in space.
"We are excited to formally help lead and organize the Starlab GWC science park," said Dr. Jeffrey Isaacson, President and CEO of USRA. "The applications for the science park are endless and we look forward to using our extensive research arm to move this initiative forward as we near the retirement of the International Space Station. Our decades of experience working together with Principal Investigators focused on space science and research will guide our vision for evolving the GWC Park in close collaboration with our Starlab partners."
"The GWC Science Park is the first of its kind – it's purposefully tailored to the unique needs of researchers doing work in space," said Dr. Carlos Grodsinsky, COO of ZIN Technologies. "This is an incredible opportunity for us to leverage our advanced engineering capabilities to enable sustainable in-space science, research, and business activities. We look forward to working with the teams at Nanoracks, Voyager Space, Lockheed Martin on this historic mission."
"It's an honor to join a consortium with such incredible experts in the field," said Dr. John Horack, inaugural holder of the Neil Armstrong Chair in Aerospace Policy, Senior Associate Dean, and Professor at The Ohio State University. "We are building economic infrastructure both on the ground and in-orbit, and that's going to change not only how we explore space but how we directly improve the lives of people here on Earth. The GWC Science Park is ground-breaking, and The Ohio State University is thrilled to help lead this effort."
"Earlier this year, the GWC Science Park was accepted as the first in-space member of the IASP. Joining a consortium of extraordinary organizations and individuals looking to push the boundaries of space exploration is quite an honor," said Ebba Lund, CEO of the IASP. "We are eager to use our science and technology park expertise and global network work in lock step with the other consortium leaders to achieve this incredible goal of advancing the future of science in space."
Nanoracks, in collaboration with Voyager Space and Lockheed Martin, was recently awarded a $160M contract by NASA to design its Starlab commercial space station as part of the agency's Commercial Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) Development program. The GWC Science Park will be the core science element of Starlab once it achieves initial operational capability in 2027.
Learn more about the GWC Science Park here.
Nanoracks, a Voyager Space Company, is the world's leading commercial space services provider. Nanoracks owns and operates private hardware on the International Space Station and has launched over 1,300 research experiments, deployed over 300 small satellites, and installed the Bishop Airlock. Today, Nanoracks leverages over a decade of experience to develop new commercial space systems in direct response to customer needs. These space systems include converting commercial launch vehicle upper stages into functional secondary platforms, building new habitable space stations, supplying payload and crew airlock systems and services infrastructure, and more. Follow @Nanoracks on Twitter to learn more.
About Voyager Space
Voyager Space is a global leader in space exploration. Voyager's long-term mission is to create a vertically integrated, publicly traded NewSpace company capable of delivering any space mission humans can conceive. The firm's first-in-industry model is uniquely tailored to support the growth needs of commercial space companies by replacing traditional private capital models with a longer-term approach that provides permanent capital. To learn more about Voyager Space, please visit: https://voyagerspace.com/ and follow @VoyagerSH on Twitter.
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SOURCE Voyager Space; Nanoracks