ASTROLAB SAS’s mission is to democratize R&D in space for the benefit of people on Earth. This brand new private company is developing the first robotic Laboratory Station in Low Earth Orbit, providing access to a fully automated microgravity ambient, enabling the next leap forward in biotechnologies, biomanufacturing, and pharmaceuticals experiments.
Research & Development
The acronym R&D refers to a process in which businesses gather knowledge to create new outcomes or discover new ways to improve their existing products and services.
Space offers a unique research and manufacturing environment to a broad range of sectors because of its near-vacuum state and microgravity habitat. Leveraging 20 years of experiments on the International Space Station, R&D in space is a game changer for biotechnologies, to advance medical research against cancer & degenerative diseases, the growth of 3D tissues for transplants, and organoids for drug development.
The pharmaceutical industry spends about $280 billion annually on R&D. Space companies may eventually capture some of this funding if they can increase the returns from innovation or cut product development timelines. Moreover, space-based R&D could help companies discover and develop new probiotics since the growth and metabolic expression of these products may differ in space.
There is an urgent need for new commercial solutions since the ISS is an expensive and complex environment, offering few research opportunities. Moreover, it will be decommissioned by 2030, with no European replacement.
“Space for life”: Developing the first fully robotized Laboratory-Station
To provide a simpler and more affordable solution to researchers, the French entrepreneurs Emeric Lhomme (CEO & Co-Founder) and Mathieu Chaize (CTO & Co-Founder) developed a compact unmanned station in Low Earth Orbit with a fully automated laboratory controlled by researchers from the ground.
Moreover, it is a competitive and sustainable project regarding carbon emissions thanks to full robotization and in-orbit resupply. The plan is to bring the experiments to the station with a robotic resupply system, which can also get samples back to Earth. In addition, will also be granted access-time to the laboratories as an end-to-end service to pharma, biotech, cosmetics companies, and public research organizations.