What is Bioreactor Express?
In July 2019, ESA and Kayser Italia signed the partnership agreement for the commercial exploitation of the ESA KUBIK facility.
KUBIK is a small controlled-temperature incubator (volume of the thermal chamber around nine litres) used to perform biological experiments in space. Since 2019, KUBIK has been improved by adding data and command communication capabilities, making it a more versatile facility to the final user.
KUBIK allows experiments to operate in the range of 6°C to 38°C, and can accommodate up to 32 standard experiment containers (less in case of extended size containers). A centrifuge with settable gravity level between 0.2g to 2g is available inside the facility.
Incubation of scientific ideas and grant opportunities
Selection of experiment hardware
Training and experiment fine tuning
Experiment Simulation Test
Mission logistic support
Integration at launch site
Transfer to ISS and return
On orbit operations
Data and samples delivery to science team
Next launch opportunities
SpX-20 (3 Mar – 2 Apr 2020)
SpX-21 (Aug 2020)
SpX-22 (Jan 2021)
SpX-23 (May-July 2021)
SpX-24 (Nov 2021 - Jan 2022)
Note: opportunities dates may change
Kayser Italia and Nanoracks Italy Announce Agreement to Open Temperature Controlled Microgravity Research on ISS
October 21, 2019 – International Astronautical Congress – Washington DC – Kayser Italia and Nanoracks Space Outpost – Europe (Nanoracks IT) have announced today that the organizations have signed an agreement to broaden research opportunities onboard the International Space Station which leverage the Bioreactor Express Service.Kayser Italia, in partnership with the European Space Agency, will have access to the KUBIK Incubator, under the Bioreactor Express Service partnership agreement. KUBIK is a small controlled-temperature incubator or cooler with removable inserts designed for self-contained...
BioAsteroid, Bioreactor Express Service’s first experiment, gets a mention on Nature: "From design to lift-off: blasting experiments into outer space".
The UK Space Agency launched an initiative to fund UK’s start ups and SMEs to test their business ideas, from medicines and innovative materials developed in microgravity, to space-flown consumer products, on the International Space Station using the Bioreactor Express Service:
The Bioreactor Express service has its first experiment: the BioAsteroid experiment from the University of Edinburgh will investigate how gravity affects the interaction between microbes and rock in reduced gravity. The experiment uses the KEU-RK Experiment Units, each featuring two bio-mining reactors (BMR) capable of culturing microbial biofilms on the surface of a flat rock slide. The two BMRs are totally independent and are equipped with reservoirs for chemicals and a culture chamber. The culture chamber allows gas exchange during the experiment. Moreover, the transparency of the culture chamber allows the visual observation of the...
On July 2019 ESA and Kayser Italia signed the agreement for the commercial partnership for the exploitation of the KUBIK facility on the International Space Station. The Bioreactor Express service is now open for business and it is possible to apply for the service. Bioreactor Express Service was developed within ESA’s commercial partnership initiative for European industry to propose joint development of new commercial services and applications using the unique conditions that space provides.
The news on ESA website: