Specifically, the two companies are collaborating on groundbreaking commercial pharmaceutical and biotech R&D and manufacturing in LEO. Redwire is delivering state-of-the-art, flight-proven biotechnology and manufacturing technologies that will be integrated into Sierra Space’s Large Integrated Flexible Environment (LIFE) habitat platform (photo below, courtesy of the company), making them available to customers and enabling commercial breakthroughs for pharmaceutical drug development and human health research.
Redwire will deliver a suite of space hardware and ground-based equipment, including biotechnology for large molecule crystallization for pharmaceutical structure determination and formulation, thermally conditioned stowage lockers, manufacturing facilities for industrial crystals, and a gradient-temperature furnace. Additionally, Redwire is providing technical expertise for automation and robotics. Hardware development is underway with deliveries expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2023. All of this work is built upon the foundation of hundreds of experiments that Redwire has flown on the International Space Station (ISS), including the 10 current payloads aboard the ISS today.
Sierra Space’s LIFE habitat launches on a conventional rocket and expands to the size of a three-story building on-orbit. The unique structure will provide opportunities for multiple businesses, including manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and other sectors, to optimize zero gravity benefits. The LIFE habitat has been developed and tested to meet NASA micrometeoroid impact and thermal capability requirements. Having already successfully completed four stress tests since 2022, a full-scale test is scheduled for fall 2023.