Home Research & Education SpaceX Dragon: Transporting 3D Printing Experiments back from the ISS

SpaceX Dragon: Transporting 3D Printing Experiments back from the ISS

The Dragon capsule of SpaceX’s Crew-6 spacecraft has landed back on Earth after 6 months of ISS mission. On board were samples and results from various research projects, including bioprinting tests and material experiments using 3D printers on the ISS.

The results of these studies are expected to contribute to the benefit of humanity, expand our ability to explore space and enable a robust market in low-Earth orbit.

Expedition 69 crew members included NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren “Woody” Hoburg, United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev. They conducted critical research for scientists on Earth.

Some notable projects of the mission included:

  • Two studies under the Tissue Chips in Space initiative that examined heart tissue in microgravity to better understand heart disease and test potential new therapeutics.
  • Several investigations funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, including a project to study the properties of graphene aerogels produced in space, which could potentially lead to improved products such as battery storage or advanced space suit materials.
  • A project to validate a bioprinter developed by Redwire Space that is capable of printing human cells and tissue in microgravity. This resulted in the first printing of a human meniscus (knee cartilage) in space.
  • Crew-6 astronauts also conducted several student-initiated projects, including one by student Pristine Onuoha as part of the Genes in Space program.

With these valuable investigations, the ISS continues to strengthen its position as a central platform for space-based research and development.

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