Singapore Space Firm To Send Experiment to the International Space Station

The ISS. Image courtesy of NASA.

Singapore-based space startup Bhattacharya Space Enterprises (BSE) announced that it has facilitated the deployment of Singapore’s first high school experiment to the International Space Station (ISS).

Come 1st June 2017, a research experiment designed by students from the Singapore American School (SAS), will be Singapore’s first payload to the ISS. It will be carried by SpaceX’s Dragon capsule, the company’s cargo spacecraft that serves as a supply ship to the ISS, and will be launched on a Falcon 9 rocket at Kennedy Space Centre, Florida.

The experiment, named “The SpaceLab SAS”, aims to add to the body of knowledge on the effects of space radiation on humans. Carrying a sample of E. coli bacteria genetically-modified to hold melanin, the experiment will measure growth rates on the ISS for 30-60 days. This data will be then compared to an identical experiment conducted simultaneously on earth, and the results will help gain an understanding of what space radiation does to melanin.

This initiative was established by BSE, a firm founded by ex-NASA rocket scientist Dr. Bidushi Bhattacharya. The firm’s mission is to “train space technologists at all levels” and offer students and professionals opportunities to launch experiments and cubesats into space.

For this experiment, BSE provided guidance to The Spacelab SAS team, installing in-house engineer and cubesat-developer Priyadarshini Majumdar to lead the team.

To celebrate the event, BSE will be hosting a public launch broadcast viewing party at 5.55a.m Singapore time (GMT+8) at BSE’s office at One North, Singapore. This is of special importance to Singapore as it represents the nation’s first payload launch to the International Space Station. Tickets can be bought here http://peatix.com/event/269786.

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