Misc: Launchpad Medical tests bone glue on ISS + Spire growing its constellation + Space suit styles

NewSpace Watch
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Research
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January 10, 2018

LaunchPad Medical is carrying out interesting research aboard the ISS with the “bone glue” that it developed: Lowell company develops bone glue being tested on International Space Station – The Boston Globe

“The idea of a bone glue is not novel,” he said. “The problem is that you have to have a glue that has immediate load bearing strength in a wet environment.” It also has to be biocompatible and have a low production cost.

One of the primary uses for a glue that’s not only safe to inject into the body but also conducive to bone growth and regeneration is that it can be used to treat people with osteoporosis.

“Trying to repair patients that fall and fracture their bones because they have osteoporosis is very challenging,” said Hess, who’s worked with surgeons in operating rooms to observe obstacles firsthand.

By testing the product in space, researchers can simulate osteoporosis on bone-growing cells called osteoblasts because of microgravity, Hess said, which causes astronauts to lose up to 2 percent of their bone mass per month.

The tests will go on for 20 days, NASA said, allowing bone cell cultures to grow using the glue. The cells will then be frozen and returned to Earth to be analyzed in a fully equipped lab.

For more details see: Assessing Osteoblast Response to Tetranite™ in Microgravity Conditions to Induce Osteoporosis – NASA.

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Spire Global, which started out as a tiny company running a Kickstarter campaign, now has nearly 50 satellites in orbit for GPS occultation weather measurements and maritime tracking. The number may eventually increase to nearly 200: Spire Global is expanding cubesat constellation to offer persistent global view – SpaceNews.com

A constellation of 100 to 200 radio occultation satellites, which provide detailed observations of atmospheric temperature and moisture, could be used in conjunction with geostationary weather satellites like NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-16 to dramatically improve the accuracy and spatial resolution of global weather prediction models, [Alexander “Sandy” MacDonald, Spire’s global validation model director] said.

Spire is building one satellite per week in its factory in Scotland, but could produce its three-unit cubesats more quickly. “I think we could turn them out at two or three or five per week,” MacDonald said.

Spire also is expanding its ground network. The company has 27 ground stations operating and is pushing to increase that number to 50 because the added ground stations will allow the firm to provide customers with data no more than 30 minutes old, MacDonald said.

Here is a recent interview with the CEO and co-founder of Spire: Peter Platzer, CEO of Spire – Spaceoneers.io

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The latest in space suit fashions: Less Michelin Man, More Barbarella: Space Suits Get Stylish – WSJ.

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