The express road to your discovery

What is Bioreactor Express?

Bioreactor Express is a service which aims to establish an “express” way to perform scientific and/or technological experiments on board the International Space Station (ISS). It exploits the KUBIK incubator facility of the European Space Agency (ESA) which is permanently installed on the Columbus module of the ISS. With this approach several categories of experiments can be performed using available miniaturized “bioreactors” dedicated to biological, biotechnological and biochemistry experiments. A wider typology of experiments (plant physiology, food production, material science, fluid science, educational, etc.) can also be supported inside KUBIK. In July 2019, ESA and Kayser Italia signed the partnership agreement for the commercial exploitation of the ESA KUBIK facility.

Microgravity, a peerless innovative tool!

The last 60 years of research and progress in microgravity have created a favourable condition for private investments in Space. Microgravity research offers an infinite horizon of possibilities that do not just lead to new products, but to entirely new categories of products that can fundamentally change the way we live on Earth.

KUBIK based

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.


Several types of bioreactors (also called Experiment Units or EU) and Experiment Containers have been developed by Kayser Italia in support to investigations of biological systems inside the KUBIK incubator. EUs reduce a laboratory into a hand-sized electromechanical device that allows the autonomous execution of a scientific protocol, being designed to contain the cell culture and all the chemicals (culture medium, wash buffers, fixatives, etc.) required by the experiment.

Experiment Containers

Several Experiment Containers have been developed by Kayser Italia to host the experiments Units inside the KUBIK incubator. These containers provide a mechanical, electrical and data interface with the platform. They also provide the Levels of Containment required by the Safety rules to be applied for experiments flying on board the ISS.

Integrated services

Incubation of scientific ideas and grant opportunities

We encourage the incubation and development of your scientific ideas, and support you in the discovery of grant opportunities. Moreover, we will help in fostering collaborations with scientific partners among research centers and university

Feasibility assessment

We evaluate the feasibility of your experiment by analysing your science goals, the experiment scientific requirements and tailor them in order to achieve a successful space experiment

Selection of experiment hardware

We define the bioreactor and the experiment container that will support your experiment during the space flight and in ground control experiments

Training and experiment fine tuning

We evaluate the feasibility of your experiment by analysing your science goals, the experiment scientific requirements and tailor them in order to achieve a successful space experiment

Experiment Simulation Test

We plan and perform with you the Experiment Simulation Test, a rehearsal of the mission at the launch site simulating the experiment integration, in-orbit incubation and stowage phases. A dedicated laboratory is available at our premises

Mission logistic support

We take care of the transportation of the experiment at controlled temperature to the launch site and back from the landing site, to your laboratory

Integration at launch site

We work back to back with you during the integration of your experiment at the launch site, from the arrival in the laboratories to the turnover of the integrated hardware to the launch authority

Transfer to ISS and return

A fleet of dedicated temperature-controlled transportation containers are available for every customer’s need

On orbit operations

Our experiment hardware is very easy to operate by the crew. Astronaut operations on Kubik are driven by our standard procedure and supported by our operators on ground

Ground control

We will follow and support on orbit operations for your experiment through our Payload Operations Control Center

Data and samples delivery to science team

We deliver mission profile data and the experiment in your laboratory, and we support you during sample retrieval

Scientific dissemination

We also support you during scientific dissemination at conferences and publication of your results, if needed


January 2021 – June 2021: 1 opportunity
July 2021 – December 2021: 2 opportunities
January 2022 – June 2022: 1 opportunity
July 2022 – December 2022: 1 opportunity

Note: opportunities dates may change

Bioreactor news

First Bioreactor Express payload launched!

December 6, 2020 – Cape Canaveral, Florida  – Bioasteroid, the first Bioreactor Express payload, has been successfully launched on the CRS-21 from the Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A at 11:17 AM ET and it is now on its way to the ISS.


Bioreactor Express is a service operated by an industrial consortium composed by:

in partnership with

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