The one-of-a-kind miniaturized lab in space, will be developed by Spaceonova, “to discover new therapeutic applications and accelerate the R&D process for industries on Earth.”
It will be launched on the launch vehicle — Vikram-I — being built by Skyroot. The firm recently test-fired the third stage of the vehicle and is confident of its first commercial launch soon.
“The plan is to launch in the first quarter (Jan – Mar) of 2023. This will be India’s first commercial life science-based experiment to be performed in microgravity research for therapeutic applications. The tie-up with Skyroot will put into orbit the first indigenously built microgravity research platform to perform such experiments in Space,” Spaceonova co-founder Shreya Santra told TOI.
Pawan Chandana, CEO & co-founder, Skyroot, stating that the firm was gearing up for its first launch with the successful completion of full-duration static fire test of Vikram-I rocket stage ‘Kalam-100’, said the firm was excited to support and offer its launch services to innovative start-ups such as Spaceonova.
Shivam K Singh, co-founder Spaceonova, said: “We aim to standardize the application of miniaturized platforms through microelectromechanical systems, lab-on-a-chip technology, micro systems technologies, etc., for the life sciences and biophysical experiments in microgravity which can accelerate the early phases of downstream processing.”
The partnering with Skyroot, he said, gives his firm access to launch services at an affordable cost, with the added backing of the former’s leadership team to support.
The firm will work with various biotech and pharmaceutical companies working on therapeutics, cosmetic companies working towards anti-aging products and fluid physics researchers who can benefit largely from this initiative and catalyse their path to innovation.
Pointing out how microgravity is a one-of-a-kind environment that holds enormous potential for innovation and substantial technological research prospects, Santra added: “The one with Skyroot is only the first of many projects we plan to implement. There are a few other ongoing discussions.”