The next phase of a NASA sponsored mission to 3D print human organs and tissues in space will launch in February 2019. A 3D BioFabrication Facility (BFF) developed by nScrypt and Techshot and destined for the International Space Station (ISS) will form part of the cargo of SpaceX CRS-17.
3D printing in zero gravity
nScrypt is based in Orlando, Florida and is a manufacturer of industrial micro-dispensing and 3D printing systems. The company is spin out of Sciperio Inc who, under a DARPA contact, developed an award winning bioprinter in 2003.
Based in Greenville, Indiana, Techshot has nearly three decades worth of experience in the development of spaceflight equipment. The first project of Techshot co-founder, President and CEO John C. Vellinger to earn it’s place on a NASA mission was a KFC-sponsored payload. The experiment was intended to study the how microgravity in space affects the growth of chicken embryos. Tragically, the “Chix in Space” project was loaded onto the ill-fated Challenger.
Since then Techshot has grown into a company employing approximately 50 people. Payloads and spaceflight equipment made by Techshot have flown on sub-orbital rockets, space shuttles and the SpaceX Cargo Dragon. As we reported in June 2016, Techshot and nScrypt completed a successful zero G flight over the Gulf of Mexico. Flying in a Zero Gravity Corporation aircraft, the test demonstrated that a heart structure could be 3D printed in zero gravity.