SPACEHAB PRESS RELEASE
Houston, Texas, April 21, 2008 â€“ SPACEHAB Incorporated, a provider of commercial space services, along with Florida Governor Charlie Crist, recently announced the Company’s partnership with the state of Florida to establish a space-based, biotech corridor that stretches from the International Space Station (ISS) to Earth-based Florida facilities and resources such as the Space Life Sciences Lab at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC).
The announcement was made at NASA’s Future Forum at the University of Miami Bank United Center on April 18, 2008, marking the establishment of a new “Space Age” industry to produce valuable products in space that show great promise to save and enhance lives on Earth.
“Florida is committed to fostering a thriving aerospace industry and is quickly becoming known as one of the nation’s top biotech centers,” said Governor Crist. “The partnership reinforces our dedication to the biotech industry. This is an exciting opportunity to stimulate progress in this new market and in Florida’s economy.”
“SPACEHAB has been working closely with Space Florida to build a strong public private partnership for the development of biotech products in space,” said Thomas B. Pickens III, SPACEHAB Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
“As evidence of the State’s commitment to promote this new industry, Space Florida has provided SPACEHAB with both financial backing and valuable research facilities, including the state-owned Space Life Sciences Laboratory. SPACEHAB and the State of Florida are very excited about our partnership and we look forward to continuing this vital work that shows strong evidence towards quickly becoming a significant industry in space,” he added.
SPACEHAB has been sending science payloads to space for 23 years, having flown on 23 space shuttle missions, and has an intimate knowledge of both the processes and value in making products in microgravity. With this experience, the company has selected various mature experiments to commercialize and is now implementing a portfolio of life science and space commercialization missions. This important endeavor is also made possible through NASA’s recent selection of SPACEHAB as a participant for the utilization of the ISS as a National Lab.
Through its newly formed biotech subsidiary which focuses on ‘biospace’ technologies and products, and with guidance from SPACEHAB’s Science Advisory Council, SPACEHAB is moving forward to fully develop the selected high priority commercialization targets that exploit the rich microgravity environment of the ISS National Lab. Of these, development of a space-based infectious disease model was selected for immediate processing as it presented the most favorable conditions and potential for success.
“We’re excited to report that the infectious disease model flown on shuttle flight STS-123 in March 2008 was very successful and will launch again in May 2008 on the STS-124 mission to confirm the results,” said SPACEHAB President, Jim Royston.
“The alignment of three key factors has lead to these milestone developments,” Royston explained. “As SPACEHAB has been selected as an official National Lab partner, we are pleased that the ISS destination now serves as the long-awaited, on orbit production facility needed for long duration science that will lead to life saving biomedicines. Secondly, SPACEHAB has active agreements in place with space transportation providers, both foreign and domestic. We are also poised for future partnerships as the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services providers mature. And lastly, our announcement regarding the state of Florida’s leadership and focus in the development of the biotech space corridor lays the foundation for the emergence and growth of this new industry.”
SPACEHAB is also teamed with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in collaboration with investigators from the National Space Biomedical Research Institute at Baylor College of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, University of Colorado at Boulder, and the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology.