MVP patch
Credit: Techshot

Next week, SpaceX is scheduled to launch the 14th Commercial Resupply Services flight to the International Space Station (ISS) via the Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket.

On board this flight will be a number of payloads, including the Multi-use Variable-gravity Platform, or MVP for short.

MVP, with its ability to provide fractional artificial gravity, some experiments are expected to help scientists understand more about how much gravity is enough to maintain crew health in space, on the Moon and on Mars.

Prototype Techshot MVP with door detached and two internal carousels partially removed.
Credit: Techshot

Commercially operated facility

Developed by Techshot of Greenville, Indiana, the MVP is a permanent, commercially operated facility onboard the ISS capable of producing artificial gravity in space.

This new research tool in space, spinning at varying gravity levels, can involve a wide variety of sample types – such as tissue chips, plants, fish, cells, protein crystals, worms and flies.

Roughly, the size of a microwave oven, MVP hosts six separate “experiment modules” on each of two internal carousels.

Prototype drosophila_experiment module
Credit: Techshot

Up to 2g

This new research platform is equipped with temperature, light cycle, and humidity control, video feed from inside the hardware, and the two identical and independently-controlled centrifuges that can generate artificial gravity from .1 to 2g.

Experiment modules launch separately in cargo resupply vehicles and are installed by the crew in MVP once they reach the station. Each is customized to accommodate the sample type and experiment protocol of a given research campaign.

Fruit fly flavored

The first experiment launching on the upcoming SpaceX CRS-14 will focus on Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies). Known as MVP-Fly-01, this first campaign using the system will be conducted for a research team at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.

Credit: NASA Ames

The MVP payload is sponsored by the ISS National Laboratory (managed by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space) focusing on life sciences, biotech, and new facilities to engage further utilization of the ISS National Laboratory.

With NASA’s renewed focus on a return to the Moon, scientists need to better understand how much gravity is enough for human crews to remain healthy while living on the lunar surface. Research using the commercially developed, owned and operated Techshot Multi-use Variable-g Platform (MVP) is expected to help answer that question.

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One Response to “Artificial Gravity Platform: Headed for International Space Station”

  • Luiza says:

    I think it would be absolutely necessary to focus on projects related to the creation of a Gravity simulator because it would be very useful in the future Stations that are being built, and in my opinion, it is something that should be thought by the many Engineers of NASA and JPL, of ESA, and other similar ones because I consider it important that this fact be taken into account.
    This is my opinion

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