Table of Contents for Appendix C

Appendix C
C.1 Orbital Service Module Study
C.2 Business Analysis Spreadsheets
C.3 Space Manufacturing Prospective Users

Commercial Space Transportation Study


Appendix C Space Manufacturing Appendix

C.1 Commercial Orbital Service Module Trade Study

C.1.1 Introduction

The concept for a commercial space manufacturing and processing system involves use of an orbiting service module equipped with autonomous microgravity processing capabilities. The service module is designed to accommodate rendezvous and docking with a separate recovery module which carries product materials to the service module for processing; the processed products will then be returned to earth using the recovery module which separates from the service module and accomplishes deorbit and reentry. The service module is designed for a five year life, and is a complete spacecraft incorporating subsystems such as command and control, thermal control, electrical power, and guidance and control.

C.1.2 Scope of Trade Study

It has been suggested that due to the high power requirements projected for the service module (up to perhaps 20 kw usable power) a sun synchronous orbit allowing continuous solar exposure might be more efficient than a 28.5 deg orbit which involves shadowing and additional battery as well as solar array requirements. However, a given launch vehicle can inject more payload into the 28.5 deg orbit, so it is not obvious which is the best approach. Therefore, a trade study was made to investigate the various influences and to develop conclusions concerning the desired orbit. A range of 10-20 kw usable power was evaluated to investigate the effect of power on the choice of orbit.

In addition, the power system mass was bounded by two approaches, 1) a combination of silicon (Si) solar arrays and nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries, and 2) a combination of gallium arsenide (GaAs) arrays and nickel-hydrogen (NiH2) batteries. Of course, it is possible that cost considerations would result in a mixed case, but cost trades were not included in the study. A more comprehensive assessment including launch vehicle type, detailed subsystem design, service module cost, and life cycle cost was beyond the scope of this study.

C.1.3 Discussion

For purposes of comparison, a 400 nm circular orbit was assumed; the launch vehicle capabilities were taken to be 4500 lbm to 98 deg sun synchronous and 6075 lbm to 28.5 deg. The approach is to determine the spacecraft mass requirements for the two orbits, thereby allowing for an evaluation of mass margin relative to the launch vehicle capability. Margin can be defined as allowable on-orbit mass for uses other than spacecraft subsystem functions.

The assumptions and values associated with the spacecraft power system are critical to the trade results. Several references (listed at the end) plus data from actual programs were used in the study, and use of a particular reference is indicated in parentheses. A Direct Energy Transfer (DET) power system (ref.2) is chosen along with solar arrays and secondary batteries. The equation for the solar array power requirement (ref.1) is:

Pa = PTe /XeTd + P/Xd
where: Pa = power required from array during daylight period
P = required spacecraft power (assumed the same for daylight or eclipse)
Te = length of eclipse period in minutes
Xe = efficiency of path from arrays through the batteries to the individual loads
Td = length of daylight period in minutes
Xd = efficiency of path directly from arrays to the loads
The efficiency factors (Xe and Xd) are assumed to be 0.65 and 0.85 respectively (ref.1). The above equation for the array requirement is further modified to account for array degradation in the LEO environment. The degradation factors used are 3% per year for silicon and 2% per year for gallium arsenide (ref. 1). There is some uncertainty regarding solar array specific power, but the values were based on expected technology and information provided in the three references. For silicon arrays, a value of 30 watts/kg is used, and for GaAs a value of 48 watts/kg is used; the wattage requirement is obtained from the above solar array power equation.

Although a full sensitivity analysis was not conducted, a discussion of sensitivity is provided later in the paper. Mass must also be allocated for electrical power system electronics (power control, conversion), and a value of 0.02 kg/watt is used (ref.3). It should be noted that the number of watts used in this relationship refers to the usable onboard spacecraft power (e.g. 20 kw). As a point of reference, the LMSC Bus 1 value is about 0.015 kg/watt.

Although the sun synchronous mission involves continuous solar array illumination, backup or auxiliary battery power is still required. It is assumed that a capability of 1000 watt-hours is provided for this purpose. Very few cycles are involved for the sun synchronous mission, therefore 100% will be used for depth of discharge (DOD) for NiH2 batteries and 80% for NiCd batteries (ref.1). For the 28.5 deg orbit with thousands of recharge cycles, the NiCd DOD is taken to be 25%, and a value of 0.9 is used for transmission efficiency between battery and load (ref.1). For NiH2 batteries, a 50% DOD is used (ref.1,3). The required battery mass is:

Mb = (watt-hours)/(DOD*Xt*Xb)
where: Mb = battery mass in kg
Xt = transmission efficiency
Xb = battery mass factor in watt-hr./kg
For the sun synchronous orbit, the watt-hours are 1000; for the 28.5 deg orbit, the watt-hours are based on the required spacecraft power (e.g. 20 kw) applied over the duration of the eclipse period. For the 400 nm orbit, the eclipse period is 35 minutes out of the 100 minute total orbital period. The battery mass efficiencies used are 35 watt-hr./kg for NiCd and 50 watt-hr./kg for NiH2 (ref.1,4). For reference, the value for the Bus 1 NiH2 batteries is approximately 48 watt-hr./kg. The much smaller Clementine spacecraft uses a NiH2 battery at 47 watt-hr./kg.

The mass for the other spacecraft subsystems was estimated as a percentage of dry spacecraft weight, using the following relationships:

  • Structures & Mechanisms: 15% (ref. 1,2)
  • Guidance,Nav. & Control: 5% (ref.1, based on FLTSATCOM and HEAO data)
  • Comm. and Data Handling: 2.5% (ref.1, based on FLTSATCOM and HEAO)
  • Thermal Control : 1.5% (ref.1, based on FLTSATCOM and HEAO data)
  • Harness/wiring : 2.5% (ref.1)
  • C.1.4 Results

    Figure C-1 shows the results for the cases included in the trade study. At the baseline 20 kw power level using the conventional Si/NiCd power system the 28.5 deg orbit is at a severe disadvantage due to the eclipse effects which drive up solar array and battery weight tremendously. At the lower 10 kw power level, both orbital cases show positive weight margins, but the sun synchronous orbit is still clearly superior - the additional injected mass at 28.5 deg is more than offset by the larger power system mass (especially batteries).

    Shifting to the more efficient GaAs/NiH2 power system significantly increases the payload mass margins, and the array/battery weight reductions are very large for the 28.5 deg case. However, the capability to the sun synchronous orbit is still noticeably greater at the 20 kw power level. As the power level decreases, the 28.5 deg case looks more attractive, and at the 10 kw level the 28.5 deg case with GaAs/NiH2 gains the edge. Of course, the 28.5 deg service module is still larger and presumably more expensive than for sun synchronous, so it may not be cost effective. A more detailed study would be required to determine where the cost crossover point occurs.



    Figure C-1. Commercial Service Module Trade Results

    C.1.5 Sensitivity Assessment

    The power system mass is the major driver for service module total mass and thus the greatest influence on usable payload to orbit. If the array and/or battery efficiencies are less than assumed in the study, the results are tilted even more strongly toward the sun synchronous orbit due to the relatively larger increases in power system mass for the 28.5 deg case. It seems unlikely that silicon array and NiCd efficiencies will exceed values used in the study for GaAs/NiH2 systems, therefore the 28.5 deg orbit is not likely to be competitive even with improvements in Si/NiCd technology.

    For the 28.5 deg orbit to be competitive with sun synchronous in terms of usable payload to orbit at the 20 kw level, an increase in efficiency of greater than 50% over values used in the study for GaAs/NiH2 systems is required. Of course, even in this event, the service module would be larger and presumably more costly than the sun synchronous version.

    C.1.6 Conclusions

    1. From the standpoint of usable mass to orbit, the sun synchronous orbit is superior to the 28.5 deg orbit at the 20 kw power level unless solar array and battery efficiencies much higher than today's GaAs/NiH2 technology are incorporated into the service module.
    2. Using GaAs/NiH2 technology, the usable mass capability at the different orbits is equivalent only at the lower 10 kw power level. The 28.5 deg service module would still be larger and presumably more costly.
    3. If use of the lower cost Si/NiCd power system is desired, the sun synchronous orbit is clearly superior over the 10-20 kw range.
    Note: Refinements to the above trade study comparing orbit inclination preferences could involve consideration of two additional factors, i.e. the mass assigned to power conditioning equipment and the relative degree of radiation exposure.

    In a dynamic and AC load environment with drastic cycling between battery and solar power in the low inclination case (LIC) and almost no cycling in the high inclination case (HIC), the design of power conditioning equipment for the LIC must be quite a bit more complex than the HIC. This complexity and additional mass, if included in the evaluation, would further favor the HIC.

    A quantitative analysis of the relative degree of radiation exposure was evaluated using radiation environments derived from the NASA spacecraft radiation design models (AP8MIC and AE8MAX) for the worse case (high solar activity) steady Van Allen belts environment, plus the JPL special model for solar proton events (SPE). SPE's are catastrophic solar explosions that occur about 3-4 times per 11 years for a duration of about 2 days each time.

    A satellite in low earth orbit can encounter low altitude lobes of the radiation belts. For the HIC orbit, both belts will be encountered. For the LIC orbit, the inner belt only will be encountered. The South Atlantic Magnetic Anomaly (shift of the center of the earth's magnetic axis towards Brazil) causes local distortion of the inner radiation belt. A LEO satellite in a LIC orbit will encounter this local inner belt distortion in each of about 15 orbits daily.

    Two orbit cases were evaluated: LIC =400 nmi altitude, 28.5 deg. inclination, and HIC = 400 nmi altitude. 90 deg.inclination. The combined Van Allen and solar proton event dose was integrated over 7 years, assuming 75% confidence level that a total of 2-3 SPE's will access the spacecraft over the polar caps.

    The following table shows the accumulated dose in particles/sq cm for electrons of energy greater than 1 MeV, and protons of energy greater than 4 MeV.

    ElectronsProtonsSolar Protons
    HIC2.2 x 10^114.5 x 10^94 x 10^10
    LIC2.6 x 10^106.7 x 10^8assumed none

    The conclusion is that HIC will receive 10 times the total dose of these damaging components of radiation. However, these levels for HIC are two orders of magnitude lower than that which is encountered at GEO (about 2.0 x 10^13). The net result is that weather satellites are almost never damaged by radiation in their HIC orbit, unlike the GEO satellites. The difference between HIC and LIC, in our opinion, is not worth application of any extra shielding of significant mass, perhaps only to critical components . The designs of sun-synchronous orbit weather satellites, such as DMSP and NOAA, follow this practice and normally function without degradation in these polar LEO orbits perfectly well for between 5 and 7 years.

    References

    1. Space Mission Analysis and Design (J.R. Wertz and W.J. Larson, 1991)
    2. Satellite Technology and Its Applications (P. Chetty, 1988)
    3. TRW Space Data (1992)
    4. Key Small Satellite Subsystem Developments (AIAA-90-3576 by J. Stuart and J. Gleave, 1990)

    C.2 Business Analysis Spreadsheets

    Web version note: There are 10 spreadsheets, in the hardcopy version these were split between three pages for each. The web version follows this same approach. Rather than convert the spreadsheets from the electronic copy, which would have rendered them nearly unreadable on the web, they have been converted into image files representing the equivalent appearance as in the hardcopy version.

    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 1



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 2-1



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 2-2



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 2-3



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 3-1



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 3-2



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 3-3



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 4-1



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 4-2



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 4-3



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 5-1



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 5-2



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 5-3



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 6-1



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 6-2



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 6-3



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 7-1



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 7-2



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 7-3



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 8-1



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 8-2



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 8-2



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 9-1



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 9-2



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 9-3



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 10-1



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 10-2



    Business Analysis Spreadsheets Page 10-3



    Space Manufacturing Prospective Users

    C.3.1 Instrumentation Technology Associates (ITA) with John Cassanto

    Mission Area: Space Manufacturing (Space Research)
    Date 9 August 1993; Revised: 10 August 1993
    Organization Contacted: Instrumentation Technology Associates (ITA)
    35 East Uwchlan Avenue, Suite 300
    Exton, PA 19341
    Tel: 215/363.8343 FAX: 215/363.8569
    Researchers: Bill Walsh, Lockheed, and Henry Hillbrath, Boeing

    The researchers met with John Cassanto, president and Ulises (Al) Alvarado, System Engineering Manager, on 8/6/93 for three hours at ITA , Exton, PA to discuss the commercial space manufacturing markets and applications for space and the related launch system attributes.

    Summary

    The firm has been in business since 1982, providing technical space services and space hardware (instrumentation and materials processing in space (MPS) hardware and containment devices) to university researchers, and biotechnology and drug companies who want to perform experiments in space. They employ about five full time personnel, with an additional 10 to 20 part-time personnel available, as required to support specific projects, or space shuttle launches. Messrs. Cassanto and Alvarado, and other personnel previously worked for GE Aerospace, Valley Forge, PA. Mr. Cassanto left GE/VF to start Instrumentation Technology Associates (ITA).

    The firm provides their engineering services and hardware to drug (pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology, etc.) companies. They provide the technical understanding of space to drug company researchers who want to place their experiments on the shuttle, Spacehab, or the MIR. ITA developed the Materials Dispersion Apparatus (MDA) minilab which can accommodate as many as 150 sample data points during protein crystal growth, casting thin film membranes, cell research, encapsulation of drugs, and conducting biomedical and fluid science experiments. Four MDA units are accommodated in current shuttle flights, in mid deck lockers, and provide 500 to 600 data points. Mr. Cassanto says other types of experiment holders that are available to researchers typically provide six sample points.

    A major product area for ITA includes providing their services and equipment to researchers who are experimenting with space-grown protein crystals. Researchers have demonstrated they can grow larger, more uniform protein crystals faster in a micro-gravity environment than can be done on earth. The three-dimensional molecular structure of the larger, space grown crystals can be determined using X-ray diffraction. Determining the molecular structure is an essential step in several areas of medical research and rational drug design.

    At the current cost and infrastructure, the experimenters will continue their current level of space research, primarily to exploit the two principal attributes of space: the diminution of gravity and the attendant virtual absence of convection. There have been no scientific breakthroughs that would indicate a high growth space market. There is no certainty that a breakthrough will occur in the foreseeable future. ITA Personnel believe that the probability of a biomedical breakthrough could be enhanced by increasing the data yield per mid deck locker. One approach to accomplish this is to use high density space processing hardware devices that allow multiple techniques to process samples. This can be made available through the private sector. ITA has the technology and equipment on hand to increase the data yield by an order of magnitude, e.g., from the present ~ 60 samples to 600 samples per mid deck locker.

    1. What is the maturity of the users' space applications? The users of space are in various stages of space experimentation, according to ITA. No single end user has made a decision to use space for processing, manufacturing or production of a product. ITA provided a Mission Operation Report, which listed 23 separate examples of space experiments that the company has been involved with through its affiliation with the CCDS program and directly with university researchers, and biotechnology and drug companies. The main commercial applications include: protein crystal growth, micro-encapsulation for drug delivery, cell research, and thin film membranes. The firm also are performing experiments to demonstrate that high quality Zeolite crystals can be produced in space.

    2. What are the payload form factors? Mr. Alvarado said the requirements for growing crystals in space are: Most experiments operate in 1 atmosphere, and a temperature range of 4 to 37 degrees centigrade. Power is 110 Watts, continuous. Vibration/shock on orbit should be limited to 10E-5 to 10E-6 Gs, 1 to 10 Hertz.

    A quasi steady state micro gravity environment of 10E-6 is optimum. The shuttle acceleration environment, while on orbit, is typically from 10E-3 to 10E-5 Gs. Typical payload weights (for growing protein crystals) are 40 pounds for the crystal growing containers, and 30 pounds for the refrigerator; approx. 70 pounds total.

    A low g (<3g) environment during reentry from space is required for the delicate crystal experiments, and physical specimens, such as cells and micro capsules. However, some crystal experiments can tolerate 8 to 10 Gs. Greater than 14 Gs will destroy the crystals. Mission duration on orbit vary from experiment to experiment, with the min/max varying between 8 to 60 days.

    Flights other than on the shuttle, require a reentry system because the researchers want the space grown crystals returned to earth for evaluation and assessment.

    3. What infrastructure and support to the user must the launch system company provide? The launch system provider should reduce the number of organizations that the end users and ITA, as their technical space representative, must interface with. ITA spends a significant amount of time interfacing with NASA/JSC and their support contractors on technical and safety requirements before they can get approval to fly in the shuttle mid-deck locker. There are also numerous integration and safety documents, and flight readiness review meetings that ITA must attend before they get final certification from NASA to fly on the shuttle. These add complexity, more planning and lead time, and added expense that ITA passes on to the experimenters. The firm estimates it costs them $68,000 worth of expenses to provide a crew for ground processing, integration and launch operations, when flying on the shuttle. That equivalent work costs only $15,000 when flying on a sounding rocket.

    Because some of the ITA experiments require extended times on orbit, i.e., 30 to 60 days, ITA has pursued agreements with NPO Energia for launches to the Russian MIR orbiting facility. ITA is now able to provide to their customers access to MIR which include Russian launch services.

    4. What is the end user market infrastructure? The end users are not familiar with the technical and NASA imposed requirements for performing space experiments. They select companies, such as ITA, to represent their interests in preparing the experiments for space.

    See the figure below, entitled -- Space Manufacturing Infrastructure -- for a notional summary of the space infrastructure.


    Space Manufacturing Infrastructure

    5. What changes or improvements are needed in the market infrastructure to reduce the costs of space produced products? There are too many governmental organizations and government contractors involved with flying on the shuttle. To respond to all the government organizations cost time and money. The infrastructure must be streamlined to reduce the time and expense. Eliminate or at least ease the burden of the shuttle constraints in areas of integration, documentation and safety

    6. If the users are performing experiments now, when will they begin producing commercial products in space? Some protein crystals that are grown on Earth are not suitable in size or degree of perfection to characterize the molecular structure by means of X ray diffraction. Researchers are continuing to experiment with medically important proteins whose molecular structure can be determined from space grown crystals but not from Earth grown crystals.

    Mr. Cassanto believes that researchers will find such a protein crystal within the next five years. However, experts have been predicting this breakthrough for the past ten years. When and if this breakthrough occurs, the demand for space crystals will accelerate rapidly, requiring a major increase in launch vehicle traffic to LEO and return to Earth to support the growth.

    Another reason for the delay in crystal experimentation is that there are too few shuttle flights and the number of space experiments must be stretched. With the introduction of Spacehab, experimenters can reduce these delays by paying for an equivalent standard mid-deck shuttle locker. ITA says the costs for a Spacehab locker is $1.8 M to the experimenter. This price level can only be afforded by government organizations at this time and appear to be more than most experimenters are willing to pay to increase their frequency of space experiments. For instance, Spacehab has no commercial users. Most experimenters will opt for longer delays between flights by going through the CCDS industrial affiliate membership approach, which provides a shuttle flight to the commercial experimenter with no launch vehicle costs.

    7. What are the current and near term costs associated with using space? The cost (and length of time) of getting to space is too expensive for the researchers. If researchers perform their experiments through the CCDS', they must deal with the NASA infrastructure, which can be costly and time consuming. The researchers, biotech and drug companies select a company with space engineering experience, such as ITA , to ensure that their experiments meet all NASA-imposed bureaucratic requirements, safety and technical (ground processing, launch, on-orbit, and re-entry) criteria which must be met before flying on the shuttle.

    8. How sensitive is user demand to launch system cost? How many more times will they use space if the launch costs is reduced? Launch System Demand Elasticity: To the CCDS affiliates, NASA provides free shuttle launches. Some drug companies become CCDS affiliates to get free access to space. ITA has customers who are CCDS affiliates and others who are not. For the latter, the cost to the end user is ITA's value added expenses for their technical services and equipment, and the launch cost. The launch costs for a shuttle mid-deck locker range from $150,000 to $200,000, depending on the complexity of the experiment.

    Launch Price<5 Years<10 Years
    Prevailing (a)11
    75%no change
    50%2 2
    25%44
    10%6 (b)8 (b)
    a. Prevailing cost is estimated at $200,000 for a mid-deck shuttle locker.
    Another figure of merit is price per data point. NASA studies estimate the market price for space crystals to be approximately $10,000 per data point. ITA's price to their customers is significantly below this market price.

    The recent addition of the Spacehab has provided an alternate to going through NASA for space on the shuttle mid-deck lockers. The Spacehab can provide between 30 to 40 equivalent mid-deck lockers. According to ITA, a Spacehab locker costs about $1.8 million. The end users think this is too expensive. The firm indicates there is a trend to use the MIR orbiting facility to get lower cost access to space. ITA has an agreement with the Russians for space experiments on the MIR. The company says the costs for launch, space on MIR, and recovery of experiments are proprietary.

    9. What decision making business process is used to decide on the use of space? ITA says that the drug and biotech companies do not have enough empirical data to make a decision on expanding their use of space. There have been too few experiments to reach a conclusion to expand the use of space research. Consequently, the drug companies have not set a high priority on space research. Decisions on expanding the use of space are normally made by drug company executives who are involved with setting the firms' research budget.

    10. What are titles and names of executive managers who are making the business decisions to invest their resources into producing products in space? ITA focuses their customer contacts at the researcher and lab manager level in the university, biotechnology and drug companies. They could not provide the names of decision makers who make the research decisions at the senior executive level.

    Review and Revision Status: 8/9/93 Submitted research report to ITA for review, comments and concurrence with data. 8/10/93 Messrs. Cassanto and Alvarado replied with comments and concurrence. Research report revised and closed out.

    C.3.2 Consortium for Commercial Crystal Growth (CCCG) with Dr. William Wilcox

    Mission Area : Space Manufacturing (Space Research)
    Date 31 August 93; Amended with CCCG's comments 11 October 93
    Organization Contacted : Consortium for Commercial Crystal Growth
    Clarkson University
    Camp Building, Room 320,
    Potsdam, NY 13699-5700
    Who Contacted: Dr. William Wilcox, Center Director; Mark Pasch, Director of Technology Development Professor Liya Regel, Professor of Research & Associate Director.
    Researchers: Don Barker (Lockheed)/Richard Freeman (Martin Marietta)/Henry Hillbrath (Boeing)

    Summary

    The Center, established in 1986 under NASA Code C funding, conducts technology development for commercial growth of electronic, photonic and detector crystalline materials.

    Crystal growth activities in space are experimental rather than commercial manufacturing and the Center has been involved with five Shuttle based micro gravity related experiments in 1992. Their experience indicates skepticism about immediate space applications from the commercial sector due to high costs. Their view is that a preferred facility for conducting micro gravity experiments should be automated, unmanned and should provide extended duration orbital flights.

    They believe that one of the greatest benefits achieved by the CCDS's is the development of ground based capabilities in commercial crystal growth.

    The launch system company should provide support to the user by affording on schedule launches, return of samples to a predetermined location, access to extended duration orbital flights in a simple straight forward way with an absence of bureaucratic procedures.

    Commercial value added companies should be encouraged to provide instrumented sample containment equipment for general application in ground and space related activities. There appears to be little short term benefit in "manufacturing" crystalline material in the space environment since to date there has been no statistically significant evidence of a higher performing infrared or semiconductor crystal material which has been produced using methods unique to the space environment.

    With reference to space application activities, there appears to be currently near zero sensitivity of user demand to launch system cost. This is due to the free rides currently offered by NASA and also the fact that few higher performing materials have been produced using methods unique to the space environment. The lack of experience with regard to space applications, shown by non-space commercial companies, is such that informed opinions on the investment potential of space based business is difficult to obtain at this time.

    1. What is maturity of users' space application? The center was established in 1986 under NASA Code C sponsorship with the original title of "Center for the Development of Commercial Crystal Growth in Space." The Center title has evolved into The Consortium for Commercial Crystal Growth. The center mission statement as quoted by Clarkson University is "to enhance the global competitiveness of North American industry by developing improved crystal products and processing through space and ground based research and development."

    The Consortium's main goal is to develop the technology for commercial growth of electronic, photonic and detector crystals activities include vapor growth for cadmium telluride, solution growth of triglycine sulfate (TGS) and L-arginine phosphate (LAP) and floating zone growth of gallium arsenide, cadmium telluride, bismuth germonate and germanium cadmium arsenide and solidification of Cd Te et al. These crystalline materials have commercial application to high speed integrated circuits, infra-red sensors, optical communication and radiation sensors.

    The Consortium has a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) whose members are primarily from companies with interests in crystal growth and related technologies.

    Literature obtained from Clarkson University lists 18 consortium participants, two of which (Metrolaser, Irvine, CA, and Potsdam Semiconductors Research, Potsdam) are partners, six of which are industrial affiliates (including Electrofuel Manufacturing Co., Ontario, Canada) and two co-operating institutions which are Canadian Government Federal Agencies (Canadian Space Agency and Canada Centre for Mineral and Energy Technology). The balance of participants are those in which Principal Investigators at U.S. universities are supported by CCCG funding. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is also involved as a participant.

    A consortium partner may have ownership of intellectual property rights as opposed to an affiliate membership where experimental data may be publicly shared . This appears to offer a methodology of preserving commercial proprietary data. With reference to the maturity of the center's space applications, Appendix I to this report lists the center accomplishments and capabilities. They have been involved in two STS flights which carried micro gravity related experiments namely IML-1 (STS-42, January 92, ~ 8 days on orbit) and USML-1 (STS-50, June 1992, ~ 14 days on orbit).

    The Center personnel confirmed that no manufacturing in space was occurring. All space applications are experimental and most involve the Shuttle configured with various experimental facility inserts International Micro gravity Laboratory, the US Micro gravity Laboratory and Spacehab. These experimental facilities provide up to 14 days in orbit.

    The Center personnel noted that a preferable facility for conducting micro gravity experiments would be automated, unmanned and would provide extended duration orbital flights, i.e. unmanned would eliminate extraneous platform vibrations and avoid costly provision for life support with attendant safety considerations. In addition, the facility would stimulate the development of dual use robotic subsystems which would be applied on earth as in orbit.

    The Center personnel expressed enthusiasm about the U.S. COMET program which, if developed, would provide an unmanned free flyer on orbit for 30 days.

    Authors note: It is interesting to note that an ESA sponsored European Retrievable Platform (EURECA-1) was deployed by the Shuttle in August 1992 and recovered by the Shuttle in about April 1993. This provided about 9 months of automated capability for extended duration micro gravity experiments. Again, with reference to maturity of space applications, the Center personnel confirmed that in their experience there was skepticism about space manufacturing from the commercial sector. The Challenger accident in 1986 dampened enthusiasm with regard to access to space; the current NASA way of doing business is incompatible with quick turnaround, simple access and low cost; payload manifest changes are frustrating to commercial schedule containment and the resolution of safety issues associated with manned flights are extensively time consuming and costly.

    It was also stated that the largest benefits of the CCDS is from ground based experiments and theory in preparation for space flight and from spin off technology.

    2. What are payload form factors? Specific form factors were not recommended by the center at the time of interview. A description of such form factors for protein crystal growth are referenced in the Lockheed Engineering Memo relating to Payload System Inc. dated 19 August 1993 and revised 22 September 1993. The form factors pertaining to crystal growth of IR detector and semi-conductor materials will generally demand larger weights, higher power requirements and may be more tolerant of higher ascent and descent accelerations.

    3. What infrastructure and support to user must launch system company provide? The launch company should provide an unmanned orbital experimental facility which affords an extended duration time on orbit with automated experimental facilities.

    Experimental packages need to be launched specifically to an agreed schedule and returned to a guaranteed predetermined location.

    The process of obtaining orbital flights must be simple and straightforward with an absence of bureaucratic procedures.

    4. What is end user market infrastructure? The current end user market infrastructure is to become a partner or affiliate of the CCDS and obtain access to space through the center affiliations with NASA. The CCDS involve other commercial companies in the design, development and instrumentation of experimental materials containment and processing equipment. In some cases, the CCDS invite the participation of these commercial companies in the packaging design and development activity and subsequently license the company to manufacture these facilities for general application for both ground and space use.

    5. What changes or improvements are needed in the market infrastructure to reduce costs of space produced products? Reduced cost of space produced products (space experiments in the near term) will be obtained by a payload pre launch processing cycle unencumbered with review processes associated with manned experimental facilities, fixed and dedicated payload manifesting, reduced time to launch and launch/recovery on schedule.

    6. If users are performing experiments now, when will they begin producing commercial products in space. According to the current view of this CCDS, there appears to be little short term hope of "manufacturing" crystals in the space environment with current costs and procedures. There is an advantage obtained for the experimental production of relatively large, pure crystal structures in a micro gravity environment in low earth orbit. However, to date, there has been no statistically significant evidence of IR or semi-conductor crystal materials having been produced in space which have not been duplicated on earth. This is because space experiments relevant to a particular material have not been repeated rather than due to scatter in the sample measurement data obtained.

    7. What are current and near term costs associated with using space? No specific figures were offered with reference to the use of space. It is known however that the CCDS's provide access to space without charge to the user other than the cost of commercial company in kind and cash support of the CCDS organization as a partner or affiliate and the cost of commitment in labor and materials necessary throughout the experiment preparation, conduct and subsequent analysis.

    8. How sensitive is user demand to launch system cost. How many more times will they use space if launch costs are reduced? With reference to this CCDS's space application activities, which are currently in an experimental phase, there is currently near zero sensitivity of user demand to launch system cost. This is probably due to the NASA Office of Commercial Programs having a signed flight agreement, called the Center for Commercial Development of Space Flight Agreement, with each CCDS. This agreement serves to delineate all responsibilities, procedures and activities involved in the use of the Shuttle by the CCDS's including provisions for Shuttle services at no charge.

    The level of demand is thought to be simply a function of the fact that, to date, there has been no statistically significant evidence, demonstrated and widely publicized, of a higher performing infrared or semiconductor crystal material which has been produced using methods unique to the space environment.

    9. What decision making process is used to decide on the use of space? Decision making process with regard to commercial space application must rest with the premise of a demonstrated enabling technology unique to the space environment, the exploitation of which would lead to a business base whereby financial returns would significantly outweigh costs and risks.

    10. What are titles and names of executive managers who are making business decisions to invest their resources into producing products in space? The Center did not disclose specific identifies of executive managers who may be involved in decisions to invest resources into producing products in space. It was reiterated that currently, and probably within the next five years or so, commercial space applications would be for experimental purposes and certainly not full scale manufacturing of products.

    In addition, the lack of experience with regard to space applications, as generally pertains to non-space commercial companies, is such that informed opinions on investment potential of space based business would be difficult to obtain at this time.

    C.3.2.1 Consortium for Commerical Crystal Growth, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY Accomplishments
    1. Developed a new furnace for vapor growth and a low-velocity laser Doppler velocimeter.
    2. Developed a low-cost, low-power, gradient freeze furnace.
    3. Determined the influence of vibrations, accelerated crucible rotation, and current pulses on InSb, InGaSb, and MnBi-Bi eutectic solidification.
    4. Achieved seeded vapor transport of large diameter CdTe at commercially useful rates.
    5. Developing an automated floating zone melting mirror furnace.
    6. Successful solution crystal growth of doped triglycine sulfate (TGS)and L-arginine phosphate (LAP), improving device performance and reducing material cost.
    7. Coated growth ampoules with pyrolytic boron nitride (PBN) for improved crystals; developed eddy current technique to aid in crystal growth analysis.
    8. Developed computer models for heat transfer, thermal stress, and convection during crystal growth.
    9. Float zoned GaAs using liquid encapsulant; float zoned CdTe, yielding single crystals.
    10. Solution crystal growth of higher quality TGS on IML-1.
    11. Crystallization of larger zeolite crystals on USML-1.
    12. Measured mechanical properties of CdTe at high temperature and observed dislocation movement in real time.

    Additional Capabilities

    1. Directional solidification and floating zone melting of CdTe; floating zone melting of GaAs, BGO (bismuth germanium oxide), BiSO, and GeCdAs4.
    2. Materials processing in high gravity, with the world's only centrifuge facility dedicated to materials processing and flow visualization research.
    3. Robotic thermal processing of device structures.
    4. Real time synchrotron x-ray topography and neutron diffraction for observation of crystallographic defects.

    C.3.3 Payload Systems Inc. with Dr. Javier de Luis

    Mission Area: Space Manufacturing (Space Research)
    Date: 19 August 1993; Revised 22 September 1993
    Organization Contacted: Payload Systems Inc.
    276 Third Street
    Cambridge, MA 02142
    Tel: 617/868.8086; FAX: 617/868.6682
    Researchers: Bill Walsh, Lockheed; and Henry Hillbrath, Boeing

    Summary

    The researchers met with Dr. Javier de Luis, president, Payload Systems Inc. (PSI), and with Dr. Anthony Arrott, formerly with PSI, on 8/3/93 to discuss the commercial markets for space. For reference: Dr. Arrott can be reached at Arthur D. Little, Acorn Park, Cambridge, MA 02140-2390. Tel 617/498.5886 and FAX: 617/498.7007. The firm began business operations in 1984 They currently employ about __ personnel. The three hour meeting focused on applications in commercial space research markets.

    PSI provides space experiment containment devices or holders and instrumentation, the combination can be referred to as "mini-labs." They also provide space engineering and payload integration services to drug companies (i.e., pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical), universities, and government researchers who want to perform experiments in space. Recently, the firm received a contract from the Canadian Space Agency to develop a furnace and data management system that will support Canadian researchers needs. The equipment will fly on Spacehab.

    The company was flying 3 missions per year on NASA's C-135 parabolic, zero G flights. However, they have stopped these flights because NASA-HQs lawyers redefined the liability to the user to include the aircraft and crew. The insurance is now more than the flight costs.

    Dr. de Luis commented ... "they are helping experimenters get into space." PSI has moved aggressively into providing innovative space services to the users. In 1988 they began contracting with the Russians to fly on MIR. This move has been successful for the company and they are seeing an increase in the frequency of biomedical research. Some key reasons why researchers want to fly on MIR are:

    1. MIR provides the researchers with more than two weeks on orbit.
    2. The experimenters do not have to disclose the specific research compounds.
    3. The Russians can accommodate an increased frequency of space experiments.
    4. There is less lead time for reserving space on MIR.
    5. There is much less preplanning, meeting, reviews than with NASA flights.
    Dr. de Luis thinks protein crystal research in space is a growing market. The experimenters want to do much more research in space. The number of protein crystal space experiments is increasing significantly. The actual increase or growth, however, is confidential to the experimenters. Payload Systems' customers include:

    1. USA: BioServe Space technologies, Kansas State, Penn State (CCR/CCDS), Bionetics, MIT, Instrumentation Technology Associates, Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    2. Japan: Hitachi, Fujitsu Laboratories, Ishikawayima-Harima Heavy Industries.
    3. Europe: Novaspace, Kayser-Threde, OHB System.
    4. Canada: Alberta Research Council, National Research Council of Canada.
    1. What is the maturity of the commercial users' space applications? Their primary use is space research. Commercial users are performing research experiments in space. Drug companies, universities, and government labs involved in biomedical research are growing protein crystals. The drug companies are not using space for processing, manufacturing or producing products.

    2. What are the payload form factors? The requirements for growing crystals in space are:

    1. Ambient pressure: 1 Atmosphere operation in space
    2. Temperature range: 4 to 23 C
    3. Gravity: <10E3 minimum, note a
    4. Power: TBD Watts, continuous
    5. Experiment Weight: TBD lbs, note b
    6. Vibration: note c, d
    7. Shock: note c, d
    8. Time on orbit: >15 days, note e
    9. Recovery: Crystals must be returned to earth.
    10. Notes:
      1. Quasi steady state micro-gravity environment of 10E-6 is optimum during protein crystal growth. During orbital maneuvers rating can range from 10E-3 to 10E-5 Gs.
      2. 70 pounds total. Typical payload weights (for protein crystals) is approx. 40 pounds for the materials, holders, and instruments; and approx. 30 pounds for refrigeration.
      3. On orbit vibration/shock should be limited to <10E-5 to <10E-6 Gs, 1 to 10 Hertz.
      4. A low G environment (<3g) during reentry is required for delicate crystal experiments. However, some crystal experiments can tolerate 8 to 10 Gs. Greater than 14 Gs will destroy the crystals.
      5. Mission duration's vary from experiment to experiment, with the min./max. varying between 15 to 60 days.
    3. What infrastructure and support to the user must the launch system company provide? The launch system company must provide an interface control document which defines the complete form, fit and functional requirements of the overall launch system. The provider should also provide facilities at the launch complex for the user to set up a portable lab, and space for the payload to be assembled and validated for flight. The user would also like to rely on the launch system infrastructure to provide the mission operations, related support activities, and provide the recovery site and operations. Although it is not required now, down linking of experiment data , during the mission would be extremely useful. Other issues: reduce the numbers of layers that the users must interface with for performing their space experiments. Set firm dates for launch, on-orbit operations, and recovery.

    4. What is the space research market infrastructure? The end users, i.e., drug companies, universities, and government labs, are not familiar with the technical requirements for performing space experiments. They select companies, such as Payload Systems Inc., to provide the proper packaging of experiments, technical support and to represent their interests in preparing the experiments for space.

    The infrastructure illustrated below was developed in agreement with Drs. de Luis and Arrott.


    Access to Space Infrastructure

    The firm has two alternatives for access to space. Initially, they supported their customers with flights on the shuttle mid-deck lockers and Spacehab lockers. However, over the last few years, they have arranged for flights on the MIR.

    5. What changes or improvements are needed in the market infrastructure to reduce the costs of space produced products? Shorten the time it takes to prepare to fly on the shuttle. Some suggestions include: reducing the number of technical, flight, and programmatic reviews; and reduce the certifications and documentation that is required before flight. This could be done by reducing the number of governmental organizations and government contractors involved with flying on the shuttle. Today, there are several different NASA organizations and their support contractors involved with approving a flight experiment before the actual shuttle flight. To respond to all the government organizations cost the end user time and money.

    Reducing flight delays can also reduce the user's costs. Each time a shuttle launch is delayed, the end user's and their support contractor's must standby. Improving launch reliability is essential to eliminating stand-down costs of the customer.

    The Russian's approach to flying on MIR is much more streamlined and business-like. When PSI flies on MIR, the firm interfaces with a single organization. The technical, schedule, programmatic requirements, and documentation for MIR flights are much less onerous.

    In general, PSI thinks the U. S. launch system infrastructure must be streamlined to eliminate a lot of the time and expense associated with reviews and documentation. Eliminate or at least ease the burden of the shuttle constraints in areas of -- integration, documentation and safety Reducing the overall launch and recovery system costs will stimulate more space research.

    In discussion with Drs. de Luis and Arrott, the infrastructure below was defined as a future approach to reduce flight lead time and costs. The premise for this notional approach is that a launch system infrastructure without NASA involved is essential in the long term for the commercialization of space.


    Launch System Infrastructure to Provide
    Low Cost, Timely Access To Space

    Writer's Conclusions: For commercialization of space to occur, the space research market has to expand. End users think access to space is too expensive and are reluctant to spend their limited research dollars on getting to space. A "New Entity," with a substantially lower cost structure must be conceived to replace the existing government infrastructure. On the long term, this includes replacing the shuttle as the primary launch system. On an interim basis, the shuttle, Spacehab , and MIR will be needed to provide the space platforms for commercial users. However, on the longer term, new free flying facilities, for performing research and manufacturing in space, and reentry vehicles will be required to substantially reduce the launch system costs and the lengthy schedules typical of today.

    6. If the users are performing experiments now, when will they begin producing commercial products in space? It is not clear when commercial products will be produced in space by the drug companies. There have been no examples of research that has lead to producing commercial products. Much more research must be accomplished before it will be possible to estimate producing products.

    The researchers anticipate there will be breakthroughs in crystal growth that will prove-in the benefits of space, but they cannot predict when. Researchers have been predicting a breakthrough for several years. Much more empirical data on how to use space for research must be accumulated and disseminated in the research community. However, industry thinks there is too much risk. This is demonstrated in how they spend their R&D budget. As illustrated in the figure below, the "Traditional" research approaches receive the largest share of the funds.


    Drug Industries R&D Expenditures

    The figure illustrates how the drug industries spend their R&D budgets. The Traditional approaches receive the largest share. Structure based crystals receive the next largest share, and space grown crystals receive the least share.

    7. What are the current and near term costs associated with using space? Drug companies consider $1,000 per Well for growing protein crystals in space as an upper cost limit. A Well is about 1 cubic inch, and there are 50 wells per holder (referred to as a "brick," because the physical dimensions are similar to a brick's). A shuttle mid-deck or Spacehab locker can accommodate 10 bricks, or about 500 wells. Using these data, the drug companies will decide not to use a Spacehab locker at $2 million per locker, i.e., equivalent to $4,000 per well.

    A graduate student growing crystals for six months can produce 500 trial cells for a total cost of $50,000, or approximately $100 per crystal.

    A commercial New Jersey lab can produce 10,000 protein crystal trial cells for about $300,000 per year, or approximately $30 per crystal.

    A Russian Institute can produce protein crystals for considerably less than the graduate student and the commercial lab. For reference, a protein research lab and equipment cost about $30,000 per year. However, the Russian prices are being reviewed and subject to major upward revision.

    8. How sensitive is user demand to launch system cost? How many more times will they use space if the launch costs is reduced? Launch System Demand Elasticity: Drug companies become CCDS affiliates to get free access to space. PSI has customers who are CCDS affiliates and other customers who are not. For the latter, the cost to the end user is PSI's value added expenses for their technical services and equipment, and the launch cost. As discussed in 7 above, the Spacehab locker cost is about $4,000 per well.

    Launch Price<5 Years< 10 Years
    Prevailing (a) 00
    75%no change
    50%no change
    25%11
    10%55
    1%1020 (b)
    a. Prevailing cost is estimated at $4,000 per well. Assuming 500 wells are contained in a locker.
    b. This presumes a technological space research breakthrough.

    Another approach to estimate demand elasticity relative to the cost of a Spacehab locker, which is approximately $2 million per flight. If the cost to the user were reduced by one magnitude there would be significant interest in micro gravity research. If cost were reduce by 2 magnitudes of order, there would be substantial interest in space experiments. This is summarized below:

    Launch PriceLevel of Interest by Drug Companies
    Prevailing (a)Few commercial users
    Prevailing X 0.1Significant commercial interest
    Prevailing X 0.01Substantial commercial interest
    a. Prevailing cost is estimated at $2 million for a Spacehab locker.
    Drug companies need a minimum of 6 wells to complete a specific protein crystal experiment. More likely, the companies would want to use 50 wells per experiment. Assuming drug companies would pay $10,000 per flight experiment, the cost would range from $2,000 to $200 per well. Dr, Arrott thinks the companies would pay much more than $200 per well.

    Another perspective: Since the inception of the CCDS's (Commercial Centers for the Development of Space) seven years ago, approximately $360 million has been spent on space research. Approximately $130 million from industry and $230 million of NASA funds, exclusive of launch costs. This indicates a substantial research investment for commercialization of space.

    9. What decision making business process is used to decide on the use of space? The drug companies do not have enough research data to make a technical decision on expanding their use of space research. There have been too few experiments to reach a conclusion on expanding their research in space.

    Decisions on expanding the use of space are normally made by drug company executives who are involved with setting the firms' research budget.

    10. What are titles and names of executive managers who are making the business decisions to invest their resources into space research? Dr Arrott suggested we get in touch with the following persons:

    Review and Revision Status 8/19/93 Submitted research report to Payload Systems for review, comments and concurrence with data. 8/21/93 Separate copy of research report sent to Dr. Anthony Arrott for review, comments, and concurrence with the data. 9/21/93 Verbal inputs from Dr. deLuis received and entered. 9/22/93 Added additional data from Anthony Arrot. Report reviewed, revised and completed.

    C.3.4 University of Alabama - Birmingham with Dr. Charles Bugg

    Mission Area: Space Manufacturing (Space Research)
    Source Contacted: Dr. Charles Bugg, Director
    Center for Macromolecular Crystalography (CMC)
    Univ. of Alabama - Birmingham
    Box 79 - THT, UAH Station
    Birmingham, AL 35294-0005
    Tel# 205/934.5329; FAX # 205/934.0480
    Contacted by: Bill Walsh, Lockheed, 408/742.4781
    Person Contacted: The writer met with Dr. Charles Bugg, at the UAB Basic Health Science Center, Room 262, on 7/16/93 to discuss the Center for Macromolecular Crystallography (CMC) projects he manages as part of the NASA CCDS program. Dr. Bugg is the Research Center director for the CMC projects at the Univ. of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB).

    Summary

    The CMC specializes in space grown crystals of biological materials which are identified by participating firms in pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and chemical industries (i.e. drug companies). The goal is to work with companies to develop the technology and applications for space based materials processing of biological crystals. The mission of the center focuses on:

    1. Developing new techniques for protein crystal growth on Earth and in space. (This report summarizes the space related activities.)
    2. Structural studies of biological macromolecules using protein crystallography for drug design and protein engineering.
    3. Definition and development of hardware and software for performing various macromolecular crystallography experiments.
    Since 1988, the center has flown 17 protein crystal experiments on the space shuttle. The next shuttle flight (STS-51) will include another CMC experiment. The last shuttle flight had one CMC experiment in the Spacehab module. Other CMC experiments are scheduled on future shuttle flights.

    There are also plans to perform CMC flights on free flyers in space. CMC experiments had been designated to fly on the Comet free flyer, however, the Comet project is on hold (see Comet Summary below) pending additional funding to complete the development. Another alternate is the LABS, a new free flyer project discussed below.

    Launch Frequency/Experiment Form Factors and Cost Currently, the demand for space launches which support CMC experiments is established by the availability of the shuttle. Other factors which influence the rate are the funding of experiments by the NASA-CCDS program and the drug companies. The CMC experiments are typically about 100 lbs each and have been housed in shuttle mid-deck lockers and more recently in lockers on the Spacehab module.

    There are no launch cost to the drug companies for flying their experiments aboard shuttle. Dr Bugg stated that the drug companies would stop experimenting in space if they were charged a proportional amount of the launch cost, or even a nominal amount.

    An estimate of the flights under various scenarios for a five year period are included in the table below. The current level of NASA support to the CCDS program and to the CMC results in a flight rate of about 5 space flights per year, (see scenario 1). In scenario 2, Dr Bugg estimated the CMC is able to manage up to 12 flights per year in the near term. Under ideal conditions, Dr Bugg would like to increase the frequency to one flight per week, scenario 3. As discussed above, scenario 4 predicts that the drug companies would discontinue their space experiments if they were charged for the launch system cost.

    Space Experiments, Macrocrystal Growing
    ScenarioLaunch Cost199394 959697
    1. CCDS scheduleFree to user (a)55555
    2. Nominal growth schedule Free to user (b)1212121212
    3. Maximum growth schedule Free to user (c)5252525252
    4. Demand elasticity Prevailing costs (d)00000
    90% Prevailing00000
    75% Prevailing00000
    50% Prevailing00000
    35% Prevailing00000
    Notes:
    (a) Flight schedule assumes zero launch cost to the CMC experimenter. Also assumes the current CCDS and shuttle funding levels will continue at the same level.
    (b) Nominal flight rate assumes zero launch cost to the CMC experimenter, no CCDS program funding constraints, and the shuttle or other launch vehicles can support the CMC flight rate.
    (c) Growth rate assumes zero launch cost to CMC experimenter, no CCDS funding constraints, and shuttle or other launch vehicles can support the CMC flight rate.
    (d) Launch system "Prevailing" costs are estimated in the range of $5000 per lb to LEO. Space Applications

    Dr Bugg has several active projects with drug companies in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and chemical industries. He classifies the work as mostly Space Research. Some Space Manufacturing work has been done in the past, but to a much smaller extent.

    In Space Research, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and chemical companies perform experiments to form new protein crystals in space. It has been demonstrated that these space experiments sometimes produce improved crystals that cannot be formed in an Earth based laboratory. The space grown crystals have no intrinsic value. After the crystals are formed in space, they are X-rayed to determine their molecular structure. The structure is used to design new pharmaceuticals, which can then be manufactured on earth. The experiments performed to date have not demonstrated a technical or costs advantage over other research protein products developed in an earth based lab. The goal is, however, to begin flying experiments that would demonstrate consistent superior experimental results to an earth-based research facility.

    The approach being used for the experiments requires a host platform, such as the shuttle, for the companies to perform their experiments in a microgravity, pressurized compartment. The companies provide the materials for the experiment and NASA makes available the pressurized equipment bay and the launch system. Dr. Bugg mentioned the experiments have been flown on the shuttle, and with the most recent flight, in the Spacehab module. He said that COMET is a candidate for free flyer missions, however, that project is in trouble with funding to complete development and first flight, and it may not be available for future experiments.

    Dr Bugg says drug companies do not have technical aerospace staff and consequently the firms are not able to respond to technical questions about the use of space. They do not have a staff that can discuss the form factors of the satellites that would be required to support their experimental payloads . Dr. Bugg is familiar with the drug companies applications and thinks he is able to respond to any space related questions CSTS researchers may have.

    The U. S. pharmaceutical industry spends approximately $15 billion annually in research on new drugs. Nearly all of the research funds are spent in earth-based labs. Typically, the companies will spend about $3 to 4 million to prepare their experiments for space.

    There are executive decision makers (VPs or directors) within the companies that manage these research budgets, however, he cannot provide their names.

    In Space Manufacturing, Dupont Corporation was interested in space manufacturing in the past. However, the company has recently moved its space manufacturing group to the newly-formed DuPont/Merck venture, according to Dr Bugg.

    Comet Summary

    The Comet free flyer is a development project managed by the NASA. The project is on hold, waiting for additional funding. NASA and the Comet contractors are arguing over who should absorb the development cost overruns. Westinghouse has pulled out of the project. Space Industries remains involved, although they are not investing any more company money in the project. According to Dr Bugg, a lawsuit was initiated to force the contractor(s) to continue work on the project or recover the costs from them for completing the project.

    The estimated cost of a COMET flight is $30M, which includes: ground operations and launch vehicle, the on-orbit free flyer, a recovery module, and the mission and recovery operations. The launch vehicle candidate includes the EER Corp. Conestoga launch vehicle.

    Other Free Flyer Projects A follow-on free flyer project to the Comet is the Laboratory for Automated Biomedicine in Space (LABS). The launch vehicle is unknown.

    Boeing has been talking to pharmaceutical companies about a free flyer vehicle. The space hardware part of the program is a joint effort between Boeing and the Russians. A Russian launch vehicle would be used. The Boeing contact is Harvey Willingberg, Hunstville, Alabama.

    Space Processing Providers There are a few companies, in addition to Space Industries/Westinghouse and Spacehab, who are trying to commercialize space develop in the payload processing area. They are focussing on providing space platforms for experiments and manufacturing or processing applications. The firms include:

    1. Payload System, Cambridge, MA,
    2. ITA Company, Exton, PA
    3. INTOSPACE, in Europe
    Market Research Data Research on the market for space manufacturing was done by Peat Marwick about four years ago. The report included an analysis of the international market. A segment of the report included microprotein processing and crystal growth applications. Dr Bugg thinks the data and conclusions of the report related to the CMC work is still accurate for today and he believes it continues to reflect the status of the market place.

    C.3.5 Space Vacuum Epitaxy Centers with Dr. Alex Ignatiev

    Mission Area: Space Manufacturing (Space Processing) Date: 20 August 1993; Revised: 31 August 1993
    Organization Contacted : Space Vacuum Epitaxy Center
    Science and Research One, Building 1, Room 724
    University of Houston
    Houston, TX 77204-5507
    Telephone: 713/743.3621 FAX: 713/747.7724
    Researchers: Bill Walsh, Lockheed, and Robert Cleave, Rockwell

    Summary

    The researchers met with Dr. Alex Ignatiev, director of the Space Vacuum Epitaxy Center (SVEC), at the University of Houston on 7/29/93 to discuss the commercial markets for space, including space manufacturing. The SVEC is a NASA Commercial Center for Development of Space (CCDS). Their primary technical area is applied engineering on thin film epitaxy using molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) processes for producing a new generation of semiconductor, magnetic, and superconductor thin-film materials. The 1-1/2 hour meeting focused on the SVEC's plan to produce higher quality thin films in space than can be produced in earth based, production vacuum chambers. Several years of work have led up to a space demonstration flight of the deposition of thin films of Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) wafers, layer-by-layer in a harder vacuum than can be achieved in a manufacturing environment on earth.

    SVEC researchers conceived a Wake Shield Facility (WSF), with a 12-foot disc flying in low earth orbit. The free flying facility will deployed from the shuttle. The stainless steel disc is estimated to provide a vacuum of 10 E-14 torr on the wake side. The first of four flights, a two day mission, will demonstrate thin film growth of several Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) 6 to 7 micron wafers, using MBE processes. Three additional flights will expand the thin film processing capabilities and the autonomy of free flight WSF operations.
    Wake Shield Free Flyer Concept


    The first flight is on STS-60, scheduled for early 1994. The second and third shuttle flights will increase the duration of processing operations and autonomy of free flight operations. For the first flight, the WSF hardware is estimated to cost $12.5 million. Additional hardware through flight three will increase the facility costs to $22 million. The industrial partners are contributing an additional $3 million. Space Industries Inc., is the principal industrial partner for developing the WSF flight hardware. A fourth flight would demonstrate pilot commercial operations, but will require additional industrial funding. The WSF is a proof-of-concept (Mark I) demonstration program. Dr. Ignatiev has plans for a follow on program (Mark II), which will demonstrate commercial approaches to thin film deposition process on GaAs wafers.

    The University of Houston Business School, estimated a free flyer Mark II facility, with a five year operational life, would be economically feasible. For commercial operations, approximately four resupply flights per year would be required. Each flight would deliver approximately 100 pounds of materials for processing; and return an equal weight of finished product to earth. The facility would cost about $30 million to build.

    1. What is the maturity of the commercial users' space applications? There are no commercial companies, such as semiconductor manufacturers, producing materials in space today. Through the NASA CCDS, Dr. Ignatiev is working with industrial affiliates to define viable epitaxial processes that can be used in space for synthesizing thin film electronic, superconducting, and magnetic materials and devices. The Wake Shield Facility represents the first flight demonstration of the thin film, vacuum deposition process. If successful, the space-based epitaxy process could revolutionize the manufacturing of microcircuit wafers, though higher quality, more uniform and capable products. A few more years of space demonstrations and analysis are required to refine the space processes and produce the technical and economic data required to evaluate the costs and benefits of space processes to the semiconductor, superconductor, and magnetic materials industries.

    2. What are the payload form factors? The launch system will be the shuttle for the demonstration flights. The requirements for the Wake Shield Facility, Mark I variant are:

    1. Orbit: Shuttle altitudes, any inclination, note a
    2. Operation: Free flight in LEO, note b
    3. Deployment: Deployed and recovered by shuttle
    4. Recovery: Retrieved by shuttle RMA, stored in cargo bay, note c
    5. Experiment Weight: 7500 pounds, note d
    6. Volume: 1250 Cubic Feet,(12 feet diameter, 11 feet length)
    7. Time on orbit: up to 90 days
    8. Notes:
      1. Epitaxial growth is not sensitive to inclination. However, a sun synchronous orbit may be preferred for providing solar power for the arrays.
      2. Vibration/shock must be limited to 1 to 10 Hertz during processing operations.
      3. Processed wafers must be protected during reentry from high G shock and vibration to prevent damage. < 3 G and < ___ Hertz are required.
      4. Typical payload weights are 3500 pounds for the wake shield, and 4000 pounds for the carrier. A Mark II version could be made using lighter weight materials.
    The launch system for the Mark II variant (production processing facility)of the Wake Shield Facility has not been determined. The requirements for deploying the facility and logistics flights are:

    1. Orbit: 250 to 300 nmi altitude, sun synchronous inclination,
    2. Operation: Free flight, note a
    3. Resupply: Provide 100 pounds of raw material every three months.
    4. Facility Weight: 4000 pounds
    5. Volume: 900 Cubic Feet, (12 feet diameter, 8 feet length)
    6. Time on orbit: 5 years minimum
    7. Resupply: One flight every three months, with 400 lbs of raw materials.
    8. Recovery: Return to earth with 400 pounds every three months, note b.
      1. NOTES:
      2. Vibration/shock must be limited to 1 to 10 Hertz during processing operations.
      3. Processed wafers must be protected during reentry from high G shock and vibration to prevent damage. <3 G and <10 Hertz are required.
    3. What infrastructure and support to the user must the launch system company provide? For the Mark II production processing facility, the launch provider must supply a low cost launch system for the resupply and recovery operations. These resupply flights will be on a quarterly basis, with growth potential to one per month.

    Please provide any additional comments you think are appropriate for Mark II facility.

    4. What is the space manufacturing market infrastructure today? There are no end users performing space manufacturing. Industrial companies interested in space manufacturing are affiliates of the NASA CCDSs. The infrastructure illustrated below was discussed with Dr. Ignatiev.


    Space Infrastructure For Commercial Applications

    5. What changes or improvements are needed in the launch system infrastructure to reduce the costs of space produced products? Shorten the time it takes to prepare to launch payloads. Some suggestions include:

    1. Reduce the technical, schedule, programmatic requirements, and documentation requirements for flights. If they are much less onerous they will be less expensive.
    2. Reducing flight delays can reduce the overall launch costs. Each time a launch is delayed, the payload customer and their support contractors must standby. Improving launch reliability would reduce these stand-down costs of the customer.
    In the future, the space infrastructure for commercial markets should change from what we have today for the demonstration flights. When the economic viability of producing high value, low weight materials in space is accepted by commercial industries, a new business entity should evolve to support the end user industries. In discussion with Dr. Ignatiev, a possible infrastructure approach which could evolve could look like the following:
    Future Space Manufacturing Market Infrastructure

    Writer's Conclusions: Space manufacturing must demonstrate its economic viability before the market infrastructure will begin to emerge. End user industries do not have the technical and management expertise to produce and operate a space manufacturing facility. It is most probable that they will initially acquire the space manufacturing capability from outside sources who specialize in providing these services.

    6. When will end users begin manufacturing products in space? The Wake Shield Facility demonstration flights must prove in the technical feasibility of growing thin films wafers in space. If the process proves-in, the Mark II Wake Shield Facility operating cost estimates indicate economic feasibility can be reached with only one percent of the wafer market.

    The microcircuit industry produces $59 billion worth of chips annually. 99.9 percent of that market is silicon microcircuits. The Mark II facility must be able to accommodate the large wafers (8 to 10 inch diameter), which are the current industry standard. If the Mark II were capable of producing thin film wafers, one percent of the market would provide about $590 million in annual revenue. Dr. Ignatiev thinks this sales base would justify producing the Mark II Wake Shield Facility.

    Other microcircuit operations, which require large facility expenditures, can also be performed in space. Photolithography operations used in manufacturing microcircuits can be performed in space. Class 10 clean rooms are required to perform these super clean operations. The facilities are very expensive to operate. Dr. Ignatiev's studies have concluded photolithography operations can be done in conjunction with space thin film processing in a cost effective manner.

    7. What are the costs associated with manufacturing space products? The space processing facility costs for thin film wafers are estimated as follows:

    Mark II Facility$15 to 20 million
    Deployment (Mark II): 35 million, note a
    Mission Operations: 5 million, note b
    Resupply & Recovery: 37.5 million, note c
    Total Operating Costs 97.5 million
    The above costs would be amortized over the volume of microcircuit wafers produced.
    Wafers produced: $108 to 180 million, note d
    Cost per wafer: $ 6,000 to 10,000
    Notes:
    a. All launch system costs for deployment of the Mark II facility.
    b. All ground mission control of the space facility for a five year period.
    c. All resupply materials, launch system, and reentry system (including ground recovery site operations) over a five year period. Assume one resupply & recovery every three months.
    d. All wafers produced over five years.

    8. How sensitive is the user demand to launch system cost? How many more times will they use space if the launch costs is reduced? Assume a Mark II facility is operational. The facility must be resupplied with about 100 pounds of wafers every three months. An equal weight of processed wafers must be returned to earth. The round trip cost for each flight depends on whether it is on a dedicated mission or is combined with other payloads.

    Launch Price<5 Years < 10 Years
    Prevailing (a) 4 4
    75% 4 4
    50% 4 4
    25% 4 4
    10% 4 4
    a. Prevailing cost is estimated at $35 million per round trip flight.
    9. What decision making business process is used to decide on the use of space for manufacturing? The microcircuit companies will decide on the use of space processing if it cost effective, and can provide better products. Dr. Ignatiev estimates that a factor of five to ten increase in wafer performance may be realized by space processing. In current technology, a factor of two increase in performance is a factor of ten increase in value to the semiconductor manufacturers.

    Another major factor to the end user is the reliability of the production process. There must be low risk to the stream of product produced by the space processing facility.

    10. What are titles and names of executive managers who will make the business decisions to invest company resources in space manufacturing?

    Review and Revision Status: 8/23/93 Submitted research report to SVEC for review, comments and concurrence with data. 8/25/93 Dr. Ignatiev provided partial comments. Sent missing page of report to Dr. Ignatiev for consideration. 8/31/93 Dr. Ignatiev provided remainder of comments. Report completed.

    C.3.6 University of Alabama-Huntsville with Dr. Charles Lundquist

    Mission Area: Space Manufacturing (Space Research)
    Date: 2 July 1993
    Organization Contacted : Dr. Charles Lundquist, Director
    Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville
    Research Institute Building M65
    Huntsville, AL 35899
    Tel# 601/688.2509; FAX # 601/688.2861
    Contacted by: Bill Walsh, Lockheed, 408/742.4781

    Summary The writer contacted the Dr. Lundquist, director, UAH-HSV. They are a university organization working as part of the NASA Center for the Commercial Development of Space (CCDS) program. They are lead center for materials development in space.

    Regarding CSTS, he commented there has been many studies, several per year. The companies and his activity are getting tired of so many studies.

    Dr. Lundquist has 8 to 10 ongoing, active materials development initiatives as part of the CCDS program. Some are with small companies, other with large business.

    Small business examples are with ITA, John Casanto, in Pennsylvania. They are selling space on a facility that can go into LEO to other companies.

    Another small business is SHOT (Space Hardware Optimization Technology), Floyds Know, Indiana. Contact is Mark Duser, president. Application is biological separation.

    Dr. Lundquist promised to send complete contact information for these referrals. He also promised to provide recent reports on their accomplishments.

    An agreement was made to follow up with meetings or telecons in the later part of July to discuss these applications, when the alliance begins the market research phase.

    C.3.7 Grumman Corporation with Mr. Louis Hemmerdinger

    Mission Area: Space Manufacturing (Space Research)
    Date: 1 September 1993; Amended following Grumman validation 11 October 1993
    Mission Area: Space Manufacturing (Space Research)
    Organization Contacted : Grumman Corporation
    Stuart Avenue
    Headquarters Building
    Bethpage, Long Island, NY 11714
    Who Contacted: Mr. Louis Hemmerdinger, Corporate Technology Advisor;Dr. David Larson, Grumman, Corporate Head of Research; Mr. Grant Hedrick, Grumman Consultant
    Researchers:Don Barker (Lockheed), Richard Freeman (Martin Marietta), Henry Hilbrath (Boeing)

    Summary

    Grumman has considerable experience in research and development of crystalline Group III-V materials. They have also been involved as a commercial member with the Center for Commercial Crystal Growth in Space at Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY.

    This membership has been discontinued due to the perception that the Center activities seem to emphasize university based research rather than commercial based research. The apparent trend of the CCDS's is to conduct growth experiments on smaller samples, requiring less on orbit power, than is required for commercial products. In addition, the quality and size capability of ground based crystal growth furnaces is increasing rapidly whereas the NASA trend is to smaller size equipment for space applications.

    A past Grumman proposal to utilize a limited number of initial no cost Shuttle flights to demonstrate proof of concept for an in-space commercial crystal growth venture was mutually terminated by NASA and Grumman following the Challenger disaster, due to a 4-5 year delay to launch the furnace system. Grumman has no current plan to participate in space applications of crystal growth or subsequent manufacturing. Prevailing NASA sponsored flight qualified equipment and power limitations are considered inappropriate for the crystal materials they would be interested in producing.

    In addition, the limited on orbit duration and extended turn around time between experimental proposal request and actual flight for Shuttle based flights is not compatible with Grumman's commercial scale requirements.

    Grumman appears to favor a commercial access to space launch system which must provide reliable, launch on schedule, extended duration orbital facilities, recovery capabilities and with appropriate contractual agreements with regard to payload accommodations and multiple launch commitments. Grumman does not anticipate a significant space manufacturing market until the current experimental exploitation of space for crystal growth has demonstrated a conclusive advantage for material processing in a micro gravity environment.

    Given this successive demonstration and low cost of access, Grumman may use the system about four times annually.

    The decision criteria for space application depends also on the availability of equipment (furnaces) and adequate power to support large crystal growth.

    1. What is maturity of users' space application? Grumman has been involved for many years in the research and development of crystalline materials including Silicon, Gallium Arsenide, Cadmium Telluride and Cadmium Zinc Telluride.

    They have been associated as a commercial member of the Clarkson University, Potsdam, Center for Commercial Crystal Growth in Space working with Dr. Bill Wilcox. This association has now been discontinued although they are supporting independent research by a member of the Clarkson University research staff.

    Grumman's perspective is that the CCDS are in general doing a good job promoting the commercial utilization of space. The Joint Endeavors Agreement, which affords a no cost Shuttle ride for access to space, is commendable.

    Their decision to discontinue the association with the Center at Clarkson was due to a perception that activities tended to emphasize university based research rather than commercial based research. This decision was based on the assessment that the excellent ongoing work was simply not compatible with the commercial objectives of the corporation.

    They did note that competition from Japan, with reference to crystal growth in the micro gravity space environment, was being aggressively pursued by that country.

    A comment was made regarding the preferred physical sizes of useful ground grown crystals i.e. silicon (14 inch diameter), GaAs (4-6 inch diameter) and CdTe (3 inch diameter). Electrical power of about 6 kw are needed for such sizes. The apparent trend of the CCDS's is to conduct growth experiments for samples about 0.5 inches square using about 1 - 2 kw of power. These physical sizes and power requirements are appropriate for basic research but not for scale up to commercial products.

    In addition, Grumman noted that the quality and capability of ground based crystal growth furnaces is rapidly increasing and that furnaces for space applications are somewhat lagging. The commercial market needs larger furnaces whereas the NASA trend appears to be to smaller furnaces for space application. An opinion was expressed that even the Space Station Freedom power availability will not be sufficient to support the growth of commercial size crystals, but could be used to verify scale-up.

    Grumman also advised that a few years ago they had proposed to NASA a program which would have utilized the Shuttle, with no cost initial flights, to demonstrate the feasibility of an in-space commercial crystal growth project with three flights leading to commercial confirmation of concept definition. Thereafter they would utilize ELV flights at around $25M each to service a commercial orbital facility visited on a 90 day periodicy. The project was mutually terminated following the Challenger disaster. A projected launch date for the program was estimated as 4 - 5 years beyond the earlier anticipated launch date.

    2. What are payload form factors? Grumman has no current plan to participate directly in space applications of crystal growth or subsequent manufacturing and therefore did not respond to this question with specifics. The prevailing NASA sponsored rack based hardware and experimental power limitations are not considered appropriate for the crystal materials they would be interested in producing.

    In addition, the limited on orbit duration (< 14 days) and extended turn around time, between experiment proposal request and actual flight, for shuttle based flights is not compatible with Grumman's commercial scale requirements.

    3. What infrastructure and support to user must launch system company provide? Grumman appears to favor a commercial access to space launch system. The commercial concept they discussed (as above) seems to correlate well with the "concept" of the COMET program although the launch weight of the COMET program (~450 lbs) and on orbit power capability (~2 Kw) is not appropriate. The launch system company must provide reliable, launch on schedule, extended duration orbital facilities, recovery capabilities and with contractual agreements with regard to payload accommodations and multiple launch commitments.

    Grumman did not appear to need an intermediate value added payload accommodations contractor between themselves as the user and the commercial launch system company.

    4. What is end user market infrastructure? The end user of space grown crystal materials would initially be Grumman internally for research and evaluation. Subsequently Grumman's customer would be the military and their suppliers although a wider commercial market could result for unique material.

    5. What changes or improvements are needed in the market infrastructure to reduce costs of space produced products? Major change to reduce cost is to encourage the commercial ownership and operation of the launch system. The layers of bureaucracy associated with access to space as afforded by NASA is simply incompatible with commercial business practices.

    6. If users are performing experiments now, when will they begin producing commercial products in space. Grumman does not anticipate a significant space manufacturing market until the current experimental exploitation of space for crystal growth has demonstrated a conclusive advantage for material processing in a micro gravity environment. They also anticipate that major advances to ground based processing will occur based on results of micro gravity experimentation - if it is of adequate dimensional size of approximately equal to or greater than 2 inches in diameter.

    7. What are current and near term costs associated with using space? In the free ride scenario currently available, the costs are for labor, materials samples and experimental containment devices. No specific figures were offered.

    8. How sensitive is user demand to launch system cost. How many more times will they use space if launch costs are reduced? Grumman's opinion is that reduced launch cost for a commercially owned and operated launch system would stimulate demand and that price would be a function of the capability versus the potential market and selling price of the product. They would use such a system possibly 4 times annually.

    9. What decision making process is used to decide on the use of space? Decision process depends entirely on demonstrated material characteristics advantage and the availability of support equipment and adequate electrical power to support large crystal growth.

    Crystal manufacturers would each use their own furnace since these devices are the discriminators for high quality crystals.

    10. What are titles and names of executive managers who are making business decisions to invest their resources into producing products in space? Lou Hemmerdinger and Dave Larson would directly recommend investment in space applications to the Grumman executive management.

    C.3.8 Research and Development Facilities Lockheed Missiles & Space Company with Mr. Chuck Rudiger

    Mission Area: Research and Development Facilities
    Date: 13 August 1993
    Organization Contacted : Lockheed Missiles & Space Company
    1111 Lockheed Way, Sunnyvale, CA 94089
    NASA Programs Office Bldg. 580
    Crossman Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94089
    Who Contacted: Mr. Chuck Rudiger, New Business Manager, Lockheed NASA Programs Office
    Researchers: Don Barker Lockheed CSTS

    Summary

    Unique environmental conditions obtainable within an earth orbital asset should be a stimulant to space borne research and development particularly for materials and life sciences considerations. Payloads which feature research and development assets will be broad based and therefore no specific form factors were estimated at this time.

    The launch system company must provide a go and return capability in support of an orbital R&D facility. In addition, human two-way transportation, stringent environmental and temporal constraints on access and return and autonomous rendezvous and docking capability may need to be provided. Current infrastructure involves NASA and the government central to the whole process of access to space. The incumbent bureaucracies, uncertain STS flight schedules and the potential for priority manifesting are not conducive to the concept of commercial use of space for R&D facilities.

    The commercial user must be offered on-time, reliable, cost effective and efficient access to space and safe return of processed experimental assets to a guaranteed specific landing location. All these attributes must be available with absolutely minimum bureaucratic procedural processes.

    The current costs burdened on the space experimenter user community are far too high even though the actual ride is free. These costs include the use of an in-flight protective container, resources and materials commitment to experiment planning, multiple sample preparation, recovery from landing sites and final analysis of resultant materials. Some of these costs are significantly influenced by STS flight schedule uncertainties and priority manifesting.

    Acquisition of independent company funding for space based research is usually more difficult than for non-space based projects, is usually associated with business development opportunities for large programs and incurs the risk of cancellation due to Shuttle flight delays and NASA procurement decision fluctuations.

    1. What is maturity of users' space application? Lockheed's NASA Program Office has been actively involved in the development of products for space applications for many years. These products include subsystems for SSF, the Hubble Space Telescope and various scientific satellites with specific missions. The products have included life support, scientific observation of the solar system and earth observation research. The Space Systems Division with which this office is affiliated has developed and delivered over 350 satellites since 1964.

    According to the interviewee the application of commercial R&D facilities in a space environment is relatively immature. NASA sponsored experimental shuttle based carriers such as Spacehab, Spacelab J and US Microgravity Payload have provided recent access to space for experimental research. About 50 individual microgravity experiments have been flown on these carriers. Prior to the Shuttle era (pre 1980's), Skylab (1973) provided the first opportunities for materials processing experiments and before that Space Processing Applications Rocket flights carried small experimental packages which typically provided 5 minutes of space environment exposure facilities.

    The advent of US managed long duration and manned experimental R&D facilities await the introduction of the SSF. The Russian MIR Space Station currently represents the sole available human tended extended duration space environment R&D facility and has recently invoked support to foreign utilization. A further NASA sponsored US effort (COMET), to provide a 30 day on orbit unmanned experimental space based platform, ELV launched and capable of reentry and recovery is currently subject to development and funding problems. A commercial spin-off of this program called WESTAR (Westinghouse Space Transportation and Recovery Services) is planned to utilize developments derived from COMET and is therefore also subject to delayed availability.

    2. What are payload form factors? This question was considered to be too broad for specific recommendations at this time for this topic. Payloads which will feature as research and development will be broad based from small payloads of the COMET type (~ 450 lbs unmanned) intended for 30 day orbital missions to larger, more complex, payloads intended for delivery to SSF or MIR (acting as the host orbital R&D facility).

    3. What infrastructure and support to user must launch system company provide? The launch system company must provide a go and return capability in support of R&D facilities in space. Certain samples developed within an orbital asset may require return for proprietary comprehensive analysis. It is also conceivable that qualified personnel from specific commercial organizations may require to visit and work within the orbital facility.

    Research payloads associated with biomedical or biotechnology products will impose stringent environmental and temporal constraints on both ascent and descent flight characteristics as well as pre and post flight preparation and temporary storage facilities.

    For R&D space borne facilities consisting of a limited duration free flyer (e.g. COMET), or longer duration facilities (SSF or MIR), the launch system company will probably need to provide the means for autonomous rendezvous and capture of the space asset containing the experimental materials. In addition it may be necessary to provide a R&D facility asset capable of commanded deorbit and safe landing.

    4. What is end user market infrastructure? Current infrastructure involves NASA and the government central to the whole process of access to space. The incumbent bureaucracies, uncertainty of flight schedules and potential for priority manifesting are not conducive to the concept of commercial utilization of space for R&D facilities. The end user currently interfaces as a member or affiliate to the NASA sponsored Centers for Commercial Development of Space (CCDS) with associated value added payload engineering/hardware and packaging companies.

    5. What changes or improvements are needed in the market infrastructure to reduce costs of space produced products? The end user market infrastructure should involve substitution of NASA by a commercial entity as the central agency involved in payload processing and certification, mission operations and interface with the launch system.

    The user should have simplified access to space which could involve a one stop shopping whereby the launch system provider directly accommodates payload requirements.

    The user must be offered on time, reliable, cost effective and efficient access to space and safe return of experimental processed assets without the lengthy bureaucratic procedures currently associated with the Shuttle access program.

    6. If users are performing experiments now, when will they begin producing commercial products in space. This question not strictly relevant to R&D facilities in space. However the response to the general question is that the advent of commercial production in space will depend on the demonstration of a useful product with market potential whose fabrication is uniquely limited to implementation in space. In addition, access to space must become routine, non bureaucratic and cost effective.

    7. What are current and near term costs associated with using space? Current costs burdened on the user community are far too high (even though, through the CCDS's, the actual flight may be free) and the uncertain schedules and bottleneck of over demand for Shuttle acommodation results in cost commitment for involvement. Safety issues associated with the crew carrying Shuttle vehicle are a major source of cost commitment to the commercial user from resources to redundancy design. The fish bowl scenario associated with STS is also a concern to proprietary interests of commercial users.

    8. How sensitive is user demand to launch system cost. How many more times will they use space if launch costs are reduced? Currently launch cost is free to commercial users of STS costs are incumbent on use of an inflight environmental protective container (~ $2M/locker Spacehab) and in resources/materials commitment to the experiment planning and sample preparation, recovery and analysis.

    Rudiger considers that if the current cost drivers as described above in (7) were relieved, coupled with reasonable launch costs, then this would certainly act as a stimulant for R&D facilities in space.

    9. What decision making process is used to decide on the use of space? Internal to Lockheed NASA - Programs Office, independent development funding is competed on the basis of new business development usually related to the capture of large programs. Acquisition of funding, specifically for space based research projects is usually more difficult than non-space projects due to the perceived reduced bang for the buck. Shuttle flight schedule delays and NASA procurement decision fluctuations also incur the risk of cancellation of independent company funding for research .

    10. What are titles and names of executive managers who are making business decisions to invest their resources into producing products in space? Gus Guastaferro is the executive decision maker within Lockheed NASA Programs Line of Business for investment recommendations to the Space System Division New Business Council chaired by Mel Brashears, VP & AGM -SSD.

    C.3.9 Spacehab Incorporated with Mr. Al Reeser

    Mission Area: Space Manufacturing (Space Research)
    Date: 7 August 1993; 28 August 1993
    Organization Contacted: Spacehab Incorporated
    1215 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 1500
    Arlington, VA 22202
    Tel: 703/553.8100; FAX: 703/553.8107
    Researchers: Bill Walsh, Lockheed; and Henry Hillbrath, Boeing
    The researchers met with Mr. Al Reeser, president and CEO, and David Rossi, vice president - business development, from Spacehab Inc., Alexandria, VA on 8/4/93 for 1-1/2 hours to discuss the commercial space markets, applications, and the related launch system attributes.

    Summary

    Spacehab Incorporated is a commercial company which offers a pressurized habitant module that flys in the shuttle cargo bay. The SH-1 SPACEHAB module first flew on STS-57 on June 3, 1993. The module provides pressurized lockers, single and double rack enclosures for commercial and government researchers to conduct experiments in the micro-gravity environment of space. During the initial flight, crew members operated and monitored 21 laboratory experiments during the eight day mission.

    The firm's headquarters are in Alexandria, VA, with business operations near Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and Johnson Space Center (JSC). They have a payload processing and launch operations facilities near KSC and mission operations offices near JSC.

    1. What is the maturity of the users' space applications? The users of space are in various stages of space experimentation, according to Mr. Reeser. The types of experiments included in the STS-57 mission included: materials processing, biotechnology experiments (such as protein crystal growth, organic separation, cell research, etc), and thin film coating. In general, any experiments that can take advantage of a low G environment are candidates for flying in the Spacehab module.

    Mr Reeser has given up on thinking you can manufacture products in space. He pointed out, however, that there may be a possibility of doing space processing of contact lens.

    2. What are the payload form factors? The Spacehab module weight is 4923 kg. Major dimensions are: 3 m long by 4 m diameter. Overall volume of the module is 31.1 mE3.

    The module is integrated into and remains in the cargo bay during all phases of flight. The module accommodates up to approximately 1360 kg of payload in a pressurized environment. Orbital and environmental parameters are those available from the shuttle, i.e., nominal 28.5 deg. inclination, 460 km altitude. On orbit time is dependent on shuttle flight duration. A tunnel from the shuttle mid-deck locker compartment provides crew access to the Spacehab cargo.

    3. What infrastructure and support to the user must the launch system company provide? Spacehab is launched on shuttle. As the figure below illustrates Spacehab Inc. is dependent upon NASA for launch and mission services. Spacehab Inc. provides payload accommodations (integration of individual customer experiments) to each user that flys in the module.

    The firm has a facility near NASA/KSC to assemble the Spacehab module and integrate the experiments. The company contracts with McDonnell Douglas for ground processing of the Spacehab module. McDonnell Douglas services include the processing of experiment payloads, and integration of the Spacehab into the shuttle cargo bay.

    Many users do not have technical staff with the required engineering experience and capability to perform space experiments. The users typically contract with low costs specialty companies which can provide payload engineering, any unique space hardware required for performing space experiments, and the assembly and packaging of experiments to the format that will acceptable to the Spacehab module, the shuttle, and NASA.


    Access to Space Organizational Infrastructure

    NASA manages all phases of a shuttle mission, but contracts with the providers of launch system services for launch operations, mission operations, recovery, and refurbishment/maintenance and servicing of the shuttle after completion of the mission.

    4. What is the end user market infrastructure? Commercial users can contract directly with Spacehab Inc for launch services, however, they usually decide to become industrial affiliates of the NASA CCDSs to avoid paying for the launch costs. The latter provide free launch services to their affiliates, along with expert technical assistance to the users in the specific science and technology areas of the experimenters.

    Most commercial users opt for the CCDS approach because they are not familiar with the technical constraints of space and the NASA imposed requirements for performing biological experiments in the shuttle. Additionally, they do not have the space engineering staff capable of preparing the experiments properly for space. Consequently, as illustrated in the figure above, they contract with companies which specialize in providing payload engineering, space hardware, and packaging services. These value added companies are typically small businesses who are providing these services at very low costs to the experimenters.

    5. What changes or improvements are needed in the market infrastructure to reduce the costs of space produced products? The number of people required to support the shuttle launches must be substantially reduced. Mr Reeser said that the Spacehab company employs 44 people at its KSC payload processing operations. On the other hand, the combined NASA/KSC personnel and the contractor personnel who support the shuttle at KSC exceeds several thousand.

    Mr Reeser agreed with the writer that the organizational infrastructure supporting the shuttle includes substantial redundancy and overlap; and results in higher costs than are necessary. He also acknowledged that it takes too long from the time a user makes a decision to perform a space experiment and the actual execution of the experiment.

    For both cost and schedule to be reduced substantially, a new launch system infrastructure must evolve which avoids dependency upon the current approach described in #3 above. A new organizational infrastructure, see below, that should evolve and become operational in the future was defined and discussed.


    Idealized Organizational Infrastructure to Provide Low Cost, Timely Access To Space

    Writer's Conclusions: For space research activities to evolve into a robust commercial market and expand into producing commercial products in space, a separate commercial "New Entity" should replace the existing government infrastructure, which includes the shuttle launch system for commercialization of space.

    An interim stage will be needed where the shuttle and Spacehab support the commercial users as space platforms for performing experiments. However, on the longer term, new free flying space processing facilities and reentry vehicles will be required to substantially reduce space launch system costs and schedules.

    6. If the users are performing experiments now, when will they begin producing commercial products in space? Mr. Reeser believes that manufacturing products in space is not a good idea. He does, however, think that processing, such as contact lens in space may be viable.

    7. What are the current and near term costs associated with using space? Commercial users are charged $1.8 million for a Spacehab locker. Spacehab's lease and integration is only $1 million. The remainder goes to to NASA for flight costs. A single locker provides the experimenter with 2.2 cu ft and up to 60 lbs. For a mid-deck locker in the shuttle, NASA charges $800,000 for an equivalent size locker.

    If all the Spacehab module payloads are commercial the firm pays NASA $33 million per flight. However, NASA has committed to use some space on the module.

    Mr. Reeser commented that it is very difficult to find commercial customers who will pay for the launch costs. NASA is providing free shuttle flights to space experimenters through the CCDS program. However, even though the ride is free, the companies will spend between $3 to $7 million of their own NRE funds to prepare and complete each space experiment.

    The Spacehab was developed for $240 million. Mr Reeser estimated that it would have cost $1,200 million for NASA to develop the module.

    The company has a fixed priced contract with NASA to fly twice per year. Spacehab has been manifested for seven more flights. The next flight was November 1993, but has been delayed by NASA until early 1994.

    8. How sensitive is user demand to launch system cost? How many more times will they use space if the launch costs is reduced? Launch System Demand Elasticity: To the CCDS affiliates, NASA provides free shuttle launches. Commercial companies become CCDS affiliates to get free access to space.

    The recent addition of the Spacehab provides an alternate to going through NASA for space on the shuttle mid-deck lockers. The Spacehab provides a total of 61 equivalent mid-deck lockers, however, a typical configuration is 412 lockers plus 2 double racks. The end users think that $1.8 million for a Spacehab locker is too expensive.

    Launches per Year
    Launch PriceToday <l5 Years < 10 Years
    Prevailing (a)20.50.5
    75%cannot predict
    50%cannot predict
    25%cannot predict
    10%cannot predict
    a. Prevailing cost is $33 million for Spacehab module launch in shuttle cargo bay.
    9. What decision making business process is used to decide on the use of space? No answer provided.

    10. What are titles and names of executive managers who are making the business decisions to invest their resources into producing products in space? There are no companies producing products in space. They are performing space experiments. Mr. Rossi promised to provide the names and contact information on all the commercial company Principal Investigators which flew in SH-1 on STS-57.

    Review and Revision Status 8/16/93 Submitted research report to Spacehab for review, comments and concurrence with data. 8/28/93 Mr. Rossi replied with comments and concurrence.

    C.3.10 Space Agriculture Lockheed Missiles & Space Company with Dr. Steve Schwartzkopf

    Mission Area: Space Agriculture
    Date: 13 September 1993; Amended following LMSC validation 11 October 1993
    Organization Contacted : LMSC Sunnyvale, CA
    Who Contacted: Dr. Steve Schwartzkopf, Manager, Lifesciences & Biotechnology
    Researchers: Don Barker/Bill Walsh (Lockheed)

    Summary Lockheed has participated in the STS based Life Science Flight Experiments program. Pertinent to space agriculture, the program seeks to identify the role of gravity in plant cellular processes, embryonic development, morphology and physiology. An attempt is ongoing to identify mechanisms of gravity sensing and the transmission of gravity sensing perception information in plants. The interaction of light and stress stimuli are also being studied. Perhaps the main emphasis of understanding plant growth and metabolism is to provide for long term survival and self operation of bioregenerative systems for future space missions.

    Lockheed has developed a number of flight qualified common module type life science laboratory equipment items which have flown on the Shuttle.

    A general characterization for space agricultural payloads is that of similarity to those required for human transportation.

    Experiments require a Life sustaining environment with nutrients, temperature, pressure, airflow, illumination and contaminants carefully controlled.

    This Life sustaining environment is required throughout the flight experiment including prelaunch, recovery and delivery back to the original sample source, although the levels can be changed during launch and landing.

    The enclosures must allow confident identification of the isolated effects of microgravity. Flight durations of 14 days maximum as obtained via the Shuttle are only of limited value in the study of plant physiology in microgravity durations of 30-90 days would be more valuable to researchers. No agricultural products are currently being manufactured in space. Companies involved in ground based production of agricultural products are mostly inexperienced in space applications. The opinion was expressed that there is currently no predictable benefit to producing plants in space, in fact some plants have become sterile when exposed to microgravity. Effects observed to date are stochastic rather than deterministic.

    The effects of microgravity on plant growth are not understood and there appears to be no reason to suppose that the environment of space "encourages" growth.

    It appears that the primary reason for plant based research experiments in space are in support of development of a bioregenerative environment to sustain human life in space vehicles or planetary colonies rather than the discovery of a new generation plant species derived from growth in microgravity.

    The interviewee felt that reduction in launch costs either direct or indirect would lead to an increased demand for experimental missions. This demand may be rapidly accumulative if a unique advantage of the space environment were demonstrated, particularly in the microbiology field rather than space agriculture.

    The launch system must allow late access to samples (2 hours), have high launch reliability, launch on schedule and guaranteed return to a post flight collection point.

    1. What is maturity of users' space application? Lockheed has participated in the STS based Life Science Flight Experiments (LSFE) program in a major way. The program objectives are to conduct studies in the area of space biology and medicine, to understand the basic mechanisms of biological and medical processes achieved via research conducted both on earth and in space.

    Three major program thrusts are 1) study of the physiological effects of the space environment including gravity and radiation, 2) study of in flight observation of humans experience in space environments and, 3) studies in exobiology with special emphasis on the origins and distribution of life in the universe. The LSFE program includes experiment design, development, in flight execution, data analysis and reporting.

    Pertinent to space agriculture are to identify the role of gravity in plant cellular processes, embryonic development, morphology and physiology. Identification of the mechanisms of gravity sensing (geotropism) and transmission of gravity perception information within plants. Identification of the interactive effects of gravity and other stimuli (light) and stresses (vibration) on metabolism. Use of gravity to study the normal (1G) nature and properties of living organisms. Extension of understanding of plant growth and animal growth and metabolism to provide for long term survival and bioregenerative systems.

    Lockheed was involved in the development of a number of common modular life science laboratory equipments including a plant growth unit (flew 2 in 82), Research Animal Holding Facility (flew in 85/91, planned for Oct 93), General Purpose Work Station (flew in 91 and planned Oct 93) and a Vestibular Research Facility. Participation in development of the Variable Gravity Research facility program (now SSF Centrifuge Facility Project) is also anticipated in the near future.

    2. What are payload form factors? General rule of thumb for space agriculture payloads environment on launch and reentry is similar to that for human transportation. Each experiment requires a minimum sustaining controlled environment of about 2 cubic feet in volume; typical enclosure unit weight is ~ 50 pounds for 6 chamber unit each containing 16 seedlings and utilizes about 75 watts. Typical temp control is 74 and 78F 1F at night and day respectively. Plant growth in orbit also requires uniform lighting with spectral characteristics in the 400-700 nm wavelength band.

    The above self contained enclosure is configured to provide continuous monitoring of temperature/pressure/air flow/chamber gas sampling.

    3. What infrastructure and support to user must launch system company provide? Payload accommodation with late access (say 2 hours) is a primary direct support required from the launch systems company. Payloads involving living organisms require sustaining facilities continuously outwards from the original users facilities to their safe return. This implies sustaining facilities prelaunch, during powered flight, on orbit, through descent and during off load and post flight, although the environment can be changed during launch and landing.

    Enclosures containing organic materials must be designed as a comprehensive full cycle subsystem such that the true effects of unique characteristic such as microgravity associated with the orbital flight can be confidently identified.

    High launch reliability, launch on schedule and guaranteed return to a specific post flight collection point must also be provided by the launch systems company.

    The flight duration associated with STS spacelab experiments is between 8 and 14 days which is marginal for observation of many micro gravity induced changes (if any) in plant physiology and metabolism. Preferable support to the user would be a launch/recovery system capable of providing 30-90 days on orbit for operational plant physiology payloads.

    4. What is end user market infrastructure? Companies currently involved in ground based production of agricultural products are likely to be inexperienced in space applications and therefore need an interface service.

    This service is currently provided by the NASA sponsored CCD's or small independent "value added" companies, the latter offering proprietary protective containers. These containers also seemed to be designed only for installation into Spacehab or Spacelab host subsystems carried within the shuttle.

    Given the availability of modular specimen containers (possibly by technology transfer from NASA), a CST may well select to contract directly with the end user for payload accommodation services.

    5. What changes or improvements are needed in the market infrastructure to reduce costs of space produced products? No agricultural products are currently being "produced." All experiments to date have involved the STS with incumbent extended time scales for payload manifesting and the usual NASA business culture. This provides a free ride to orbit but still involves commercial time and materials commitment to an uncertain launch slot and an uncertain return location.

    The changes needed are reliable launch date, short prelaunch timescale, definitive landing location and avoidance of routine NASA safety reviews and prelaunch administrative problems.

    6. If users are performing experiments now, when will they begin producing commercial products in space. The interviewee considered that there is currently no predictable benefit to producing plants in space, in fact some plants have become sterile when exposed to G. The effects of microgravity on plant growth are not understood and there is no reason to suppose that space "encourages" plant growth. He also disagrees that gene transfer in a micro gravity environment may be enhanced as suggested by the CCDS at the University of Winsconsin.

    Effects observed to date are stochastic, not deterministic . He did think that space may provide an advantage for bacteriological production and noted that some companies are interested in the concept namely ALZA, GENENTECH and AMGEN. In fact, Genentech has already run a flight experiment with rats. (Note the former two companies have been contacted by the CSTS previously and did not disclose that they were interested in or had actually conducted space application experiments.)

    The primary reason for plant based research experiments in space are in support of developing a bioregenerative environment to sustain human life in space vehicles or planetary colonies. Interesting to note that some estimates indicate that a cultivation area of between 20-30sq meter is required to sustain each human in a bioregenerative enclosure.

    7. What are current and near term costs associated with using space? Most Lockheed work in this area has been under contract to NASA the interviewee has no information on company intentions to pursue independently funded research in space agriculture. 8. How sensitive is user demand to launch system cost. How many more times will they use space if launch costs are reduced?

    The interviewee felt that reduction in launch costs either direct or indirect would lead to increased demand for "experimental" missions. This demand may be rapidly accumulative if a unique advantage of the space environment could be positively demonstrated, particularly in the microbiological area. The current low demand for experimental flights is coupled with perceived launch costs as well as to a combination of the current NASA way of doing business and the lack of a positive demonstrated advantage for in-space experiments.

    9. What decision making process is used to decide on the use of space? Internal company procedures for decision on the use of space for any particular project are no different than for non-space applications. Solicitations for independent company funds are made annually using a common format. Decisions are made at executive level based on return on investment evaluations with reference to future business forecasts. The company is certainly expanding its commercial and civil business share relative to defense business.

    10. What are titles and names of executive managers who are making business decisions to invest their resources into producing products in space? Steve Schwartzkopf would make recommendations to the Lockheed Director of Materials Science who in turn would solicit vice presidential approval (Joe Reagan/Ernest Littauer).

    C.3.11 Space Industries with Mr. Ole Smistad

    Mission Area: Space Manufacturing (Space Processing)
    Date: 30 June 1993
    Contact: Ole Smistad, COMET Program Manager
    Space Industries
    101 Courageous Drive
    League City, TX 77573
    Tel# 713/538.6000 (X6079): FAX # 713/334.4010
    Contacted by: Bill Walsh, X24781

    Summary The writer contacted Space Industries to discuss their COMET program as part of the CSTS market research project. Smistad is the program manager for the COMET program.

    The COMET is basically a Service Module, or space platform, which can be used to perform space manufacturing and processing. Space Industries views themselves as a service organization that provides the module to end users.

    The end users buy space in the Service Module for performing processing and manufacturing in space. The service module weight is in the one ton range. Smistad says that the shuttle is too expensive for space manufacturing applications. An inexpensive ELV would be appropriate for the mission. The mission requires the payload to be recovered, and therefore, a Recovery Module is needed to return the payload to earth. Space Industries has developed the overall approach for supporting potential manufacturers with a service module and recovery module.

    Space Industries has evaluated and is familiar with Pegasus for launching the Service Module. Estimated launch costs for Pegasus are about $12M.

    Smistad summarized the overall costs for a COMET flight as:

    Product Element/ActivityCost ($M)
    NowFuture
    a. Expendable Launch Vehicle, including ELV & ground ops, is about$186
    b. Service Module63
    c. Recovery Module63
    d. Mission Operations, including ground stations22
    Total$32$14
    A summary of the key points of the discussion included:
    a. Reducing the launch vehicle cost by a factor of three to $6M will make it economically possible to sell space manufacturing to users.
    b. The benefits would include increased launch rates
    c. Lower operating costs for space manufacturing will cause innovation.

    C.3.12 Syntex Discovery Research with Dr. Hardy W. Chan

    Mission Area: Space Manufacturing (Space Research)
    Date: 13 September 1993
    Organization Contacted: Syntex Discovery Research
    Division of Syntex (U.S.A.) Inc.
    3401 Hillview Avenue
    P.O. Box 10850
    Palo Alto, CA 94303
    Who Contacted: Dr. Hardy W. Chan-VP and Director of Biotechnology; Dr. Randolph M. Johnson Research Section Leader, Dept. of Neuroscience, Institute of Pharmacology
    Researchers: Don Barker/Bill Walsh (Lockheed)

    Summary Syntex has no direct experience of space applications and does not budget to track developments which may be occurring.

    Syntex is a "small molecule" pharmaceutical company with ground based annual manufacturing of 1000's of metric tons of materials. Research budget is $300M (~20% of profit) totally expended in non-space activities.

    Syntex's assessment of space applications is that they have seen no evidence of benefit to their particular industrial interests. If a smaller biomedical or biotechnology company were to discover some kind of enabling technology derived from space application experiments then Syntex would simply buy equity in that company. This would provide the necessary production, distribution and marketing support necessary to commercially capitalize on the enabling technology.

    Subsequent to the demonstration of enabling technology, Syntex may well become involved in space experiments targeted to drug development with multiple flights annually at $200K per flight. Payload samples probably would not exceed a few kgms per year. Syntex would need appropriate sample containment enclosures and close support in the development of their in-house space application experience base.

    A reliable, launch on schedule, late sample access and early retrieval, rapid turnaround space transportation system would be required. Commercial business practices are perceived as incompatible with NASA's current methodologies associated with space access via the Shuttle carrier. Syntex affirmed that they would never produce "small molecule" products in space. The company perceives that the overall cost of space application is high without specific reference to launch cost apportionment. Pharmaceutical product pricing is a function of supply and demand rather than the recovery of specific investment in development of a particular product.

    Syntex would only use space for product research and development if they become convinced that the space environment afforded a definite unique advantage.

    They also are concerned that a good starting point for commercial space application be established by NASA funding.

    1. What is maturity of users' space application? Syntex (5500 employees) has no direct experience of space applications, have no affiliation or membership with any of the NASA sponsored CCDS and have not participated in conducting space experiments.

    They are aware, in a general sense, of some of the activities being pursued by NASA in the Shuttle based experimental programs.

    The biotechnology departments of the company have no allocated budget to track the on-going activities in biotechnology experimentation being conducted on various NASA programs. Their staff however do appear to keep themselves generally informed through observation of the technical literature.

    Dr. Chan noted that Syntex does not involve themselves with large protein molecular materials as a basis for drug manufacture rather they referred to their products as being based on "small molecules" and they manufacture typically in the 1000's of metric tonnes of these pharmaceuticals annually. The Syntex research budget is about $300M (~ 20% of profit) which is expended on development of biomedical products manufactured in earth based facilities.

    If a typical space experiment required about $200K of support expenditure then this would be within their anticipated budget and they might well conduct multiple experiments in a given year. The main issue associated with Syntex's lack of commitment to space applications is their current reasonably informed assessment that they have seen no evidence of benefit to their particular industrial interests.

    The perception that other smaller biotechnology companies may develop a unique enabling technology through space experiments is not a concern. In fact their view is to expect and encourage such entrepreneuralistic efforts by such companies and subsequently simply to buy equity in these companies to jointly capitalize on the enabling technology.

    This view is a routine business practice characteristic of the current vibrant biotechnology industry which has spawned many hundreds of small entrepreneurial companies specializing in the development of new pharmaceutical materials and techniques. These small companies lack the means and resources to profitably bring a drug product to market with effective distribution and indeed they themselves fully expect the purchase of equity subsequent to new product development.

    2. What are payload form factors? Given the future development of a unique product from space experimental applications with demonstrated enabling technology, Syntex considers that their payload samples would comprise an aggregate of only a few Kgms per year in multiple flights (in contrast to many 1000's metric tonnes of earth based products). They considered that space derived/processed biomedical materials would probably require a transportation system (launch and recovery) with characteristics similar to a human rated system. Syntex would also require appropriate sample containment enclosures from external sources.

    3. What infrastructure and support to user must launch system company provide? Syntex's lack of experience in space applications implies the need for a full payload services agency. This agency could of course be a service of the launch system company.

    Syntex would provide sample materials and conduct internal processed specimen analysis but they would need support in the near term for all other aspects of space application.

    A reliable, launch on schedule, late sample access and early retrieval, rapid turn around space transportation system would also be required to support a vigorous multiple launch use concept subsequent to demonstration of enabling technology.

    4. What is end user market infrastructure? Commercial business practices are perceived as probably incompatible with NASA's current methodologies associated with space access via the Shuttle carrier.

    Syntex did advise however that time to market for new drugs may not be too critical. A six month margin of delay is not a problem in most cases other than for pharmaceuticals with potential to render benefits to patients afflicted with critical illnesses such as AIDS.

    An example was given of two effectively identical drugs introduced by two different companies within six months of each other. The later drug, even though higher priced, gained comparable market share within a short period.

    5. What changes or improvements are needed in the market infrastructure to reduce costs of space produced products? Syntex offered no comment on this question.

    6. If users are performing experiments now, when will they begin producing commercial products in space. Syntex response was that they probably would never produce "small molecule" products in space. They may possibly produce about 2kgm annually of a product designated as a "high enabler," but this is an unqualified blue sky estimate.

    7. What are current and near term costs associated with using space? Syntex current costs are of course zero with reference to space applications. They do not even formally budget for tracking the published results of on-going biomedical related space experiments. The near term costs would only become finite in the event of demonstration of an enabling technology of interest to them.

    8. How sensitive is user demand to launch system cost. How many more times will they use space if launch costs are reduced? Syntex perceives that the overall cost of space application is high without specific reference to launch cost apportionment. Return on investment is recoverable by the sale of products.

    Products are priced essentially by market supply and demand and only loosely coupled to the recovery of specific investment in development of a particular product. Drug development sequence from research to FDA approval and sale is usually long term (5 to 10 years), except for urgent demand products such as AIDS related, and is somewhat characteristically unpredictable with reference to human experienced side effects.

    A product designed to mitigate a particular ailment can proceed successfully through many stages of assessment but subsequent fail latter stages of approval.

    9. What decision making process is used to decide on the use of space? Syntex would only use space for product research and development if they were convinced that the space environment afforded a definite unique advantage.

    They also mentioned that the decision to commit company resources would depend on their perception of to what extent tax dollars have been used efficiently by NASA to provide a good starting point for commercial space application.

    10. What are titles and names of executive managers who are making business decisions to invest their resources into producing products in space? Dr. Hardy Chan would be the principal executive decision maker on the corporate board.

    C.3.13 Space Hardware Optimization Technology (SHOT) with Mr. John Vellinger

    Mission Area: Space Manufacturing (Space Research)
    Date: 18 August 1993; Revised: 14 September 1993
    Organization Contacted: SHOT (Space Hardware Optimization Technology)
    P. O. Box 351
    Floyd Knobs, IN 47119
    Tel: 812/923.9591; FAX: 812/923.9598
    Researchers: Bill Walsh, Don Barker, and Deborah Tonnemacher, Lockheed

    Summary The researchers met with Mr. John Vellinger, vice president, SHOT (Space Hardware Optimization Technology) on 8/2/93 for two hours to discuss the commercial markets for space. The company is a small business with four full time personnel, and several part-time personnel. The firm began business operations in 1989.

    SHOT provides space equipment, payload integration, and engineering services to drug company (pharmaceutical, biotechnology, etc) researchers performing space experiments. The firm provides the following type products and services to end users:

    1. containment equipment for housing biological experiments in the mid-deck lockers onboard the shuttle and Spacehab
    2. technical services (integration of biological experiments with space hardware)
    3. launch integration services

    SHOT's space hardware is designed to contain living organisms for space experimentation. They have provided their equipment and services on several shuttle flights and Concert 5 and 6 missions. The firm provided payload containment facilities for two successful Shuttle missions: 1) Chicken embryos experiment on STS-29 in March 1989 wherein Kentucky Fried Chicken Inc. were involved and 2) Organic Separation experiment on STS-57 in June 1993. In the former mission they provided flight certified hardware which contained both a suspension system and an environmental control system for experimental sample protection and containment.

    Typically, SHOT provides an enabling interface between the commercial end user ( e.g. KFC, drug companies ) and the NASA shuttle organization or Spacehab organization.

    The firm has a new business thrust to develop new containment equipment for the drug companies to use for housing or packaging their experiments for the space environment.

    1. What is the maturity of the users' application(s) in space? The drug companies primary use of space is for biological research. The users are attempting to demonstrate and assess the ability of micro-gravity available in LEO to separate cells in living organisms. These experiments are being flown on manned launch vehicles, such as shuttle, Consort, and Spacehab. The experiments must be returned to the researchers after the space flight for evaluation and assessment.

    No end users are producing space products for commercial sale.

    2. What are the payload form factors? The space experiments conform to physical constraints provided by shuttle mid-deck lockers. The reference NASA document is NSTS 21000-IDD-MDK.

    1. weight: up to 70 lbs
    2. volume: 20.3 by 10.8 by 18.1 inches
    3. altitude: 250 nmi
    4. pressure: 14.7 +/- 0.2 PSIA normal operation (shuttle environment)
    5. shock and vibration:
      <3 Gs
      Vibration 20 to 150 Hz +6.0 dB/Octave
      150 to 1000 Hz 0.03 gE2 / Hz
      1000 to 2000 Hz -6.00 dB/Octave composite 6.5 g (rms)
    A typical SHOT container measures 20.3 by 10.8 by 18.1 inches & weighs 70 lbs including the experimental sample. These are the typical shuttle locker external dimensions and weights.

    3. What infrastructure and support to the user must the launch system company provide? The drug companies would like to have some way to lower their experiment pre-flight and post-flight costs. Biological experimental samples must have back-up samples immediately available for substitution in the event of launch delays. The samples must also have late access to the payload compartment (within 12 to 18 hours pre-launch ) to enable confirmation of sample integrity and to maximize probability of successful flight experiment results.

    During post-flight, the drug companies have to commit staff and resources to recover samples within about 1.5 hours of shuttle touchdown. Consequently, these resources need to be duplicated since a shuttle touchdown cannot be guaranteed to occur at KSC, Edwards AFB, or alternate landing sites such as White Sands, due to variable weather conditions which occur during actual shuttle flights.

    An alternate space processing facility may be needed to compensate for anticipated delays when the shuttle commits more support to the Space Station Freedom during its build up and servicing.

    4. What is the end user market infrastructure? The end users look at the infrastructure for access to space through the small value added companies, such as SHOT, Payload Systems, and ITA, which provide payload engineering, space hardware, and packaging of the experiments. These companies usually assist the end users with the interface with NASA, who require substantial experiment and design reviews, and flight readiness reviews before the experiments are flown on the shuttle. The illustration below summarizes the organizational infrastructures today.


    Access to Space Organizational Infrastructure

    The drug company experimenters think that lower Gs which can be achieved at higher altitudes, than provided by the shuttle, may be important to improving the results of their space research.

    NASA manages all phases of a shuttle mission, but contracts with the providers of launch systems and related services for launch operations, mission operations, recovery, and refurbishment or maintenance and servicing of the shuttle after completion of the mission.

    End users that become industrial affiliates to the NASA CCDSs are receiving free launches on the shuttle. The users, however, have internal and contractor costs associated with flying their experiments on the shuttle.

    The NASA practice of providing free rides is a stimulant to the use of space by commercial companies and can accelerate the demonstration of specific advantages associated with biological research in a micro-gravity environment.

    5. What changes or improvements are needed in the market infrastructure to reduce the costs of space experiments and facilitate transition to producing products in space? For commercial companies to expand their research, the cost must be reduced. Today's shuttle flight costs, exclusive of the free launch provided by NASA CCDSs, are too high. They must be substantially reduced.

    The apparent trend of reliance on human-tended experiments tends to drive the configuration characteristics of the launch system into an expensive human rated option. Non-man rated space platforms that can offer the experimenters comparable capabilities can substantially reduce the researchers costs. This will require a free flyer and a reentry vehicle.

    Also, the length of time between a decision to perform an experiment and the actual accomplishment of the experiment must be reduced. These long period usually are because of all the engineering, programmatic, and safety review analysis, studies, and meeting that are part of the current man-rated approach to space launches.

    A new organizational infrastructure for access to space, see below, should evolve for the future that reduces overall costs to the end users. The attributes of this infrastructure should include shorter overall time to perform experiments, and lower experiment processing and launch costs.


    Idealized Organizational Infrastructure to Provide
    Low Cost, Timely Access To Space

    Writer's Conclusions: For space research activities to evolve into a robust commercial market and provide the potential to expand into commercial market which manufactures products in space, a separate commercial "New Entity" should replace the existing government infrastructure, which includes replacing the shuttle as the primary launch system.

    An interim stage will be needed where the shuttle and Spacehab support the commercial users as space platforms for performing experiments. However, on the longer term, new free flying processing facilities in space and reentry vehicles will be required to substantially reduce the launch system costs and lengthy schedules typical of today.

    6. If the users are performing experiments now, when will they begin producing commercial products in space? The build up of empirical technical data on the optimum physical space conditions for conducting experiments (i.e., such as optimum altitudes, g levels, etc) must be developed before an estimate can be made about transitioning from research into manufacturing commercial products in space.

    The frequency of space experiments is relatively low. Therefore, there is too little empirical data about the variability of space for experiments. Researchers must have much more data on the physical attributes of space and how to use space in a research mode. The experimenters need this data to focus their research into the space regimes that may provide high pay off, e.g., technical results. For this to occur, there must be a substantial increase in the frequency of experimental flights. This will also require an expansion of the companies supporting the end users, such as SHOT, Payload Systems, and ITA.

    7. What are the current and near term costs associated with using space? NASA is providing free rides on the shuttle to commercial users who become affiliates of the CCDS. Otherwise, the cost to fly an experiment in a shuttle mid-deck locker is approximately $700,000. A Spacehab locker, equivalent to a shuttle mid-deck locker, cost about $1.8 million. Flying an experiment on the MIR costs the researcher about $ _______ .

    The users internal costs include -- creating the biological samples, other internal costs related to processing and preparing the samples for flight, and the costs associated with post-flight recovery and assessment of the experiment. The sum of these costs vary according to the complexity of the experiments, and the time criticality of maintaining living organisms during pre and post launch phases of flight. The user's internal costs can typically range from $400,000 to $800,000.

    The user's external costs, exclusive of shuttle launch costs, are primarily for value added services and unique space hardware required for the experiment, such as the products and services provided by SHOT, or similar type companies. These typically include:

    a. space hardware development and fabrication$400,000 and up
    b. Integration costs200,000 to 400,000
    c. Technical support200,000 and up
    Total$800,000 to 1,800,000
    The cost range relates to the complexity and time critically of support required for biological samples during payload integration, pre flight, and post-flight. 8. How sensitive is user demand to launch system cost? How many more times will they use space if the launch costs is reduced? The issue of costs related to access to space is not relevant at the present time since commercial users can receive free rides on the shuttle, if they become affiliates of the CCDSs. Mr. Vellinger believes the drug companies will not continue to perform space experiments if they have to pay for the shuttle launch system costs that NASA now offers to the companies free.

    Launch System Demand Elasticity: Sensitivity to launch costs is low, primarily because NASA is provides free launches to end users.

    Launch Frequency:
    Annual Launches
    Launch Cost <5 years <10 years
    Prevailing price (a) 0 0
    75 % 0 0
    50 % declined to forecast
    25 % declined to forecast
    10 % declined to forecast
    Notes: (a) Prevailing price is $700,000 for a shuttle mid-deck locker
    The number of times a drug company will fly experiments in space also depends heavily upon their research staff. They must have adequate research staff to support each flight.

    9. What decision making business process is used to decide on the use of space? Drug companies must decide if there is an economic advantage to weightlessness.

    10. What are titles and names of executive managers who are making the business decisions to invest their resources into space research? Contact Orbitech (Orbital Technologies?), which is an affiliate of the Wisconsin Center for Space Automation and Robotics.

    Review and Revision Status8/19/93 Submitted research report to SHOT for review, comments and concurrence with data. 8/25/93 Mr. Dueser telecom. He will be respond. 9/8/93 Mr Vellinger will respond by end of this week. 9/14/93 Mr. Vellinger FAXed replies to research report. Comments incorporated and report completed.

    C.3.14 Center for Cell Research, Penn State University with Dr. Wesley Hymer

    Mission Area: Biological Products
    Date: 2 September 1993; Amended by comments from Dr. Hymer
    Organization Contacted: Penn State University
    Center for Cell Research
    207 Frear Laboratory
    University Park, PA 16802-6005
    Who Contacted: Dr. Wesley Hymer; Director
    Researchers: Don Barker (Lockheed) / Richard Freeman (Martin Marietta) / Henry Hillbrath (Boeing)

    Summary The Center for Cell Research (CCR) was established in 1987 as a part of NASA's Centers for the Commercial Development of Space program. CCR focuses on commercial product and process oriented biotechnology projects in the areas of physiological testing, bioseparations and illumination. Recently, as a spin off from the CCR, Penn State has formed a private enterprise for the production and marketing of various automated systems for use in conducting both space based and ground based biological research.

    The discussions essentially indicated that significant potential exists for biological product development in space, but currently no commercial market exists.

    Currently, space based biological production will be on the research and development level only. Any one user's needs would require only small payload weights to be placed in orbit on an intermittent basis. Dr. Hymer estimates that as many as ten bio payloads per year may be commercially sellable but would require some more work.

    International government interest in space based biotechnology is increasing; the Japanese have indicated keen interest in space biotechnology and several European consortia (University/Industry/Government) will be in place in 1994 to do space biotechnology as well.

    Human interaction is not an absolute requirement for conducting space based research. Ultimately space based processing (e.g. electrophoresis) may require manned interaction for routine maintenance on on-orbit laboratories.

    Allowable cost per flight is difficult to estimate since payload space on current STS flights is provided at no charge. It is evident that low costs will be required ($50K to $100K per user) to develop the market. In order for commercialization of biological products in space to occur, a concerted commercial venture must be undertaken to convince biological product firms of the potential profitability of space based research and production and coalesce these firms into joint investment ventures to conduct research. CCR has this charter. Six biotechnological/pharmaceutical companies have already flown experiments in the last three years because of the CCR. Applications for the space research include the concept that space can be used as a test bed in the drug development process leading to new pharmaceuticals for use on earth. There is a surprisingly large data base which shows that rodents and astronauts experience bone loss, muscle atrophy, immune dysfunction, etc., all symptoms which mimic diseases on earth.

    General Topics of Discussion In a less structured approach the following general topics were discussed. These specific questions were not directly asked but general discussion followed along these lines. The results shown are interpretations of discussion conducted.

    1. What is maturity of the Center's space applications? The Center for Cell Research has been and is currently engaging commercial affiliates and partners in space-based research encompassing the three primary areas of physiological testing, bioseparations and illumination. Currently there is no definitive U.S. commercial market for space based cell research but there is potential that future research results combined with concerted marketing programs could bring industry into the business of space processing. There is some interest among the CCR's affiliates to join in conducting research but the ultimate goal of unsolicited substantial commercial investment has not yet been realized.

    Electrophoresis A significant and visible effort currently involves the bioseparation (electrophoresis) program. Electrophoresis is a process used in separating cells, proteins or other biological materials based on differences in electrical charge. The theory, which forms the basis of space-based electrophoresis, has been demonstrated in space experiments. This theory holds that the lack of sedimentation and buoyancy-driven convection forces that are essentially lacking in a microgravity environment will allow better material separation in a charged field to the point where materials of relatively small charge difference can be separated. Commercial applications of bioseparation are many but include separation of products (e.g. proteins) for pharmaceutical manufacture. Prior to the STS Challenger failure 7 electrophoresis flights were conducted by McDonnell Douglas Corporation which showed evidence of significantly improved results relative to effective separable concentration (25% vs. 2.5%) as well as purity of separation.

    Detractors felt that ground based systems could equal these results by simply running the process for longer duration. Recent experiments by German scientists demonstrate that the quality of separations achieved in space is superior to that on the ground. In 1992, CCR founded the United States Commercial Electrophoresis Program (USCEPS) to provide a ground based research program coupled to an in-house hardware development program which would lead to flight of a new improved unit. That unit will be delivered to Kennedy Space Center in the Summer of 1994 for its first flight in the first quarter of 1995 (SpaceHab 04). The principal commercial affiliate has been McDonnell Douglas Corporation. New affiliates are in the process of being added. Recently the CCR has teamed with Separations Technology, Inc. to explore ground-based systems as a spin-off of space-derived technology. Japan, France and German governments have started programs in electrophoresis as well as other biotechnology applications.

    Of these the Germans have had perhaps the best results using sounding rockets and the French and Japanese have systems that have and will fly on STS SL-J and IML2. Using a TEXUS launch system, the Germans confirmed increased purity of separated red blood cells as a result of operation in microgravity.

    Physiological Testing Many physiologic responses are affected or initiated by exposure to a microgravity environment. As part of the CCR program, Genentech and Merck Corporations have each flown physiological experiments (1990 and 1992 respectively). Also, in collaboration with the Space Dermatology Foundation and four commercial partners, physiological space experiment (PSE-3) involving the first tissue repair study was conducted in June 1993 aboard the STS-57. Also, another experiment with animals is scheduled for 1994. It was noted that no known public or animal rights backlash has been observed relative to animal experiments and that the experiments are performed under strict guidelines set down by NIH, NASA and University Animal Care and Use Committees.

    Applications for research are varied but include study of many human degenerative diseases with the end goal being an increased understanding of these diseases and, hopefully, cures or treatments for many. Effects which have been studied include bone loss (decalcification, muscle atrophy, cardiovascular deconditioning, and suppressed immune system function).

    The CCR has also developed, patented, and flown its own hardware to do physiological testing on cells. This hardware is called the PSU Biomodule (see item 3). it will fly its first STS mission in January of 1994.

    Illumination Light is an important modifier of human biology and psychology. CCR, in conjunction with industry, is using portable, semi-portable, as well as permanent fixed light sources to study biological and behavioral effects in humans and animals. Bright light panels have been flown on USML-1 to test human response. Much of this work is ground-based.

    Essentially, space-based biological research is in its infancy, but it is growing. Most commercial users operating through the CCR have found interesting findings and many have expressed intent to conduct further research in the future. CCR believes they will re-fly some users soon.

    2. What are payload form factors? Currently, the STS SpaceHab or middeck lockers are what is required. What eventually may be required is unknown. In the event a process is ultimately commercially operated in space a more substantial system (weight and volume) would be required.

    The Penn State Biomodule weighs approximately 14 lbs.

    3. What infrastructure and support to user must launch system company provide? For some users, longer duration on-orbit is needed. Some biological processes and the need to conduct iterative experiments result in a 30 day on-orbit requirement. For enhanced research capability several aspects also need further development. These include:

    1. Better temperature control. Shuttle temperature control in middeck is a major problem. Would like temperature control to with 0.5 F.
    2. Microgravity zero g fluid handling systems. Penn State has developed an automated fluid mixing system called the "biomodule" which has flown three times on sounding rockets and is scheduled to fly twice next year (1994) on STS. A private for-profit company was formed by Penn State for the sale and marketing of this module as well as other products in work.
    3. Automated laboratory.
    4. Robotic applications.
    5. Recoverable experiment (or production modules).
    6. Low cost, routine payload integration.

    4. What is the end user market infrastructure? Currently, the end users are commercial companies ideally in the business of bioproduct development and manufacture. These companies are engaged in conducting research through the CCR which provides (via NASA) STS flights. In addition to biotechnology companies, hardware oriented companies are affiliates and involved with the development of automated equipment for conducting the experiments.

    5. What changes or improvements are needed in the market infrastructure to reduce costs of space produced products? There are many factors which hinder development of the commercial space biotech market. One factor is the difficulty in maintaining proprietary control over experimental results. The biotech industry is very competitive and a system which prevents or obstructs proprietary control of data is a strong deterrent to commercial interest. CCR imposes time delays between getting results and allowing broad based publication to allow principal members sufficient time to gain whatever advantages may exists. In this regard it is paramount that NASA not have access to experimental results. NASA has competing organizations involved in bio research. Code U is chartered with conducting the research for broad general public knowledge.

    Food and Drug Administration (FDA) bureaucracy is another significant hurdle to market development. Currently, it takes 10 to 12 years and costs on average $237M to bring human drug or medicine to market due primarily to the FDA process. The process has four stages pre-clinical, and 3 clinical phases. The CCR's efforts in commercial space are directed toward shortening the preclinical stage, thereby shortening the entire time to market which would facilitate drug development.

    Mission integration costs and bureaucracy must be reduced significantly to allow commercial development. The integration of payloads into the launch system must be routine and low cost.

    6. If users are performing experiments now, when will they being producing commercial products in space? A continued concerted effort to form industry cooperatives to conduct research may eventually lead to breakthroughs which are commercially profitable in space. At this time projections for when this will occur are not possible.

    7. What are current and near term costs associated with using space? Currently, cost of space transport is zero to the users. The users contribute dollars, personnel and in-houses resources, and equipment for the purpose of conducting experiments. The CCR requires the end users to contribute to the conduct of various experiments.

    8. How sensitive is user demand to launch system cost? How many more times will they use space is launch costs are reduced? Sensitivity to launch system cost is irrelevant at this point. In the foreseeable future any commercial launch system will have to be far less expensive than current systems. Before any costs are supportable by the market, additional research must be conducted.

    9. What decision making processing is used to decide on the use of space? Currently, based on data presented to the industry by the CCR as well as other government agencies, the commercial sector is enticed into contributing to the research. Ultimately, substantive results with clear commercial viability will have to be produced before the commercial sector is engaged to the point where more commercial ventures in space will be undertaken. Increasing the data base and making industry aware of the current data base is key to progress.

    10. What are titles and names of executive managers who are making business decisions to invest their resources into producing products in space? Dr. Hymer indicated that these companies would be difficult to talk to (from CSTS representatives) and that demonstrated expertise in the bio field would be essential to any discussions with them. Companies which are actively involved with the CCR include:

    Dr. Hymer suggested that we interview Mr. Jim Rose who formerly worked for NASA and was one of the founding fathers of the CCDS program. Mr. Rose currently is a private consultant in the area of commercialization of space and among things is working with the European RADIUS program which is the equivalent of the U.S. CCDS. This program begins officially in early 1994.

    C.3.15 Wisconsin Center for Space Automation and Robotics with Dr. Ray Bula

    Mission Area: Space Agriculture
    Date: 2 September 1993
    Organization Contacted
    University of Wisconsin
    Wisconsin Center for Space Automation and Robotics (WCSAR)
    Madison, WI 53706
    Who Contacted: Dr. Ray Bula
    Researchers: Don Barker (Lockheed)/Richard Freeman (Martin Marietta)/Henry Hillbrath (Boeing)
    Summary

    The Wisconsin Center for Space Automation (WCSAR), formed in 1987, works in a variety of areas among which is space agriculture.

    Commercial interest in space agriculture does not directly exist. Essentially, commercial industry interested in controlled environment systems for plant growth on earth. Development of systems for space research is applicable to terrestrial plant growth.

    Ultimately, space based agriculture may become commercial market in the event of lunar colonization or manned orbiting factories, hotels etc. Until such achievements are inplace no commercial interest in space agriculture.

    General Topics of Discussion In a less structured approach the following general topics were discussed. These specific questions were not directly asked but general discussion conducted along these lines. The results shown are in general not quotes but interpretations of discussion conducted.

    1. What is maturity of the centers' space applications? Current status is that several experiments have been flown which demonstrate concepts for nutrient and water transport to root systems in micro gravity environment. No plants have actually been flown, but rather the systems which would provide resources to the plants have been tested with root simulators. Plants will be flown in 1994.

    Have identified that plants only need specific part of sun light spectrum. Work is on going to develop artificial light sources meeting plants optimum needs. Current trend is use all artificial light as opposed to using natural light available from the sun. Primary reason is light cycles associated with earth orbiting systems are detrimental to plant growth as well as due to technical issues of large pressurized transparent structures.

    Other system aspects demonstrated include closed cycle environment control (humidity, lighting, CO2, temperature). WCSAR in conjunction with industrial partner has developed a humidity control system known as "Astropore" and plan to market this subsystem (via spin off company ) for terrestrial based growing units. Most near term applications for these systems are terrestrial rather than space based. These applications include production of ultra high quality fruits and vegetables for gourmet cooking/ fine dining, propagation of cell tissues for production of annual plant stocks, growth of high value medicinal crops. Advantages of these systems for terrestrial use are elimination of viruses, insects, weather variations, exact nutrient delivery.

    Astroculture was originally only 10% of total NASA WCSAR funding. Is currently 30% but growth and total dollars is too low to develop hardware quickly.

    2. What are payload form factors? Currently, the STS spacehab lockers would be adequate for research. What eventually may be required is unknown.

    3. What infrastructure and support to user must launch system company provide ? For some users, longer duration on-orbit is needed. Cell differentiation processes and the need to conduct iterative experiments result in a 30 day or longer on-orbit requirements. For enhanced research capability several aspects also need further development. These include:

    1. Routine and simple payload integration.
    2. CO2 control. Potential of using MIR for astroculture research hindered by high CO2 levels (5000 ppm vs 500 ppm normally).
    3. Automated laboratory.
    4. Robotic Applications.
    5. Recoverable experiment (or production modules).

    4. What is end user market infrastructure? Currently, the end users are commercial companies in the business of agricultural products and/ or automated hardware systems. These companies are engaged in conducting research through the CCR which provides (via NASA) STS flights. Japanese are a big potential end user which if allowed into CCDS would double funding levels. Again, the primary interest utilizing results and systems obtained via space research for terrestrial applications. Currently US has a 2 year technology advantage over Japanese in controlled closed environment agriculture but gap is closing fast.

    5. What changes or improvements are needed in the market infrastructure to reduce costs of space produced products? Changes in the market infrastructure are clearly not going to significantly alter the viability of commercially produced space agricultural products. Most commercial interest is in terrestrial applications. Development and implementation of orbital human habitats (stations, hotels, etc) or lunar or planetary colonization would undoubtedly spark commercial interest once firmly and convincingly established. In the near term it appears only government interest in space agriculture for space use will be evident. Completion of development of the controlled environment plant growing units is anticipated to increase additional commercial interest.

    6. If users are performing experiments now, when will they begin producing commercial products in space? Commercial interest in space agriculture will arise coincident with large scale, long term extraterrestrial human habitation.

    7. What are current and near term costs associated with using space? Currently, cost of space transport is zero to the users. The users essentially contribute dollars, resources, equipment for purpose of conducting experiments. Once mission is identified takes approximately two years at current funding levels to ready hardware.

    8. How sensitive is user demand to launch system cost. How many more times will they use space if launch costs are reduced? Sensitivity to cost is irrelevant at this point. In the foreseeable future any commercial launch system will have to be far less expensive than current systems. Estimated investment threshold for commercial interest is on the order of $10K to $25K per user.

    9. What decision making process is used to decide on the use of space? Currently, industry is solicited by WCSAR for investment into space research with ultimate goal being commercialization. Most companies are currently either only interested in the ground based applications or development of hardware but view investment in space research as a mechanism for developing systems for ground based use. Ultimate near term goal is for industry to approach WCSAR with ideas and investment dollars for research. Unfortunately, the projections for near term future realization of this goal is dim.

    10. What companies are investing their resources into producing agricultural products in space? Companies which are actively involved with the WCSAR astroculture program include:

    1. Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation - Involved with patenting "Astropore" and blue Light Emitting Diode work.
    2. Agrisetus Co. - Interested in controlled environment plant growing units.
    3. Automated Agriculture Associates - Interested in controlled environment plant growing units.
    4. Quantum Devices Inc. - Interested in lighting systems for plant growth and plant growth performance Instruments
    5. Biotronics Inc. - Sensor systems, on-line analysis of solutions, etc

    C.3.16 Universities Space Research Association (USRA)-Washington, D.C., with Beth Ransom and Rick Zwirnbaum.

    Academic Space Research
    Date: 17 February 1994; Revised: 24 February 94
    Organization Contacted: Universities Space Research Association (USRA)
    300 D Street, S.W., Suite 801
    Washington, DC 20024
    Tel: 202/479.2609; FAX: 301/816.1443
    Persons Contacted: Beth Ransom, Rick Zwirnbaum; STEDI Program
    Researcher: Bill Walsh, Lockheed

    Summary The researcher met with Beth Ransom and Rick Zwirnbaum; representatives of the Student Explorer Demonstration Initiative (STEDI) Program at the USRA, Washington, DC offices to discuss the "Academia Space Research market. Dr. Paul Coleman, USRA president, and Kevin Schmadel, Asst. executive director were not available for the meeting.

    The objective of the STEDI program is to demomstrate that significant space flight missions can be performed for science and technology development at very affordable costs. USRA believes that if theSTEDI program is successful that it will be able to establish a steady stream of dedicated space flights for research and development at universities, government labs, and commercial research centers. Two important aspects of the program are: 1) support limited duration projects, e.g., PhD research, and 2) significant hands-on participation by students and entry-level engineers and scientists. The program is sponsored by NASA. The USRA will select a range of university experiments in 1994 to be built, launched and begin mission operations, flying three polar-LEO space flights beginning in 1996.

    The science objective is to select small payloads that are designed to conduct research in space-related scientific disciplines, e.g., astrophysics, earth sciences, life and biomedical sciences and applications, micro gravity sciences, and space physics. Approximately $8 million per flight is planned for payload (up to 450 lbs) and launch vehicle. The cost for each flight is split evenly between payload and small expendable launch vehicle (SELV), i.e. $4 million for the payload and $4 million or less for the SELV. Cost per pound of payload is equivalent to approx. $9,000 /lb, assuming 450 lbs to 100 nmi orbit at90 degree inclination.

    The Multi-Service Launch Vehicle (MSLV) has been identified as the expendable launch vehicle. Mr. Dan Goldin, the NASA Administrator supports the program. USRA estimates that a total of $24 million is needed to complete the initial phase of the STEDI program . Launch dates for the three flights begin in 1996. If the initial phase of the program is successful, then NASA would continue to support the program, leading to a robust academic research program, with a buildup of up to 25 space research flights per year. An estimate of the initial and follow on phase launches is forecast in the figure below.



    USRA is a non-profit organization that consists of approximately 76 member universities. The association was established in 1969 by the National Academy of Sciences at the request of NASA. The objective of USRA is to provide a mechanism through which universities and other research institutions could cooperate with each other, with the U. S. government, and with public and private organizations to further space science and technology. The Association operates a number of institutes, divisions, and programs, throughout the U. S., that sponsor exploratory research and aerospace education.

    1. What is the maturity of the users' in university space science applications? Universities perform space science projects in cooperation with government, private institutions and industry. They rely on funding from government and the private sector to develop and perform the experiments. The number of space experiments is limited by the cost of launching the payloads.

    2. What are the payload form factors of space science payloads? University science experiments are generally small in mass, and limited in power. Typically each of the experiments will be under 100 lbs and less than few cubic feet. Most have been launched on sounding rockets, and high-altitude balloons. However, there are also a relatively small number of larger experiments that are in the 100 to 1000 lbs range, and launched as secondary payloads on expendable launch vehicles and the shuttle.

    3. What infrastructure and support to the user must the launch system company provide? No reply.

    4. What is the end user market infrastructure? Today there are very limited opportunities for affordable research flight demonstrations. The infrastructure supporting these activities, as depicted below, is predominantly NASA and DoD research packages flown as tertiary missions on major satellites. STS provides a major share of this support. These missions must conform to externally imposed mission plans and schedules.

    5. What changes or improvements are needed in the market infrastructure to reduce the costs of space produced products? University research is limited by the long lead time (time it takes from inception of a science project to the flight) and the high cost of launching payloads. In the future, the successful STEDI demonstration and the emergence of capable, dedicated, low cost launch vehicles should foster a varied infrastructure of program sponsors, as illustrated below. The environment will continue to utilize, but not completely limited, to flying on host spacecraft. Strong collaboration is anticipated between ventures in universities, government, and corporations.



    6. If the users are performing experiments now, when will they begin producing commercial products in space? University space research will not lead to production of products in space.

    7. What are the current and near term costs associated with using space? Launch costs vary over a broad range. However, costs are typically in the range of $10,000 to $100,000/lb. The USRA STEDI program intends to reduce launch costs to under $10,000/lb, during the phase one demonstration program.

    8. How sensitive is user demand to launch system cost? How many more times will they use space if the launch costs is reduced? In general the cost of a payload is not less than the launch vehicle cost. Consequently, as launch vehicle costs are reduced, an increasing number of additional experiment opportunities evolve. The figure below provides a preliminary estimate of launch vehicle elasticity associated with space science and technology research.



    Assume that the USRA projection includes multiple science experiments in each payload deployment. The initial phase of STEDI includes payload mass of about 450 lbs to a 100 nmi altitude, polar orbit. The MIN curve represents the high probability of occurrence, and MAX represents the low probability of occurrence.

    9. What decision making business process is used to decide on the use of space? No reply.

    10. What are titles and names of research managers in academia who are making the decisions to perform space research? No reply.

    Review and Revision Status Research was reviewed with Rick Zwirnbaum of USRA and comments were provided on 2/23/94. Report was revised to include USRA's comments


    Back to top