Oct 16, 2018 | By Thomas

The Russian 3D Bioprinting Solutions company is preparing to send a duplicate 3D bioprinter for experiments at the International Space Station (ISS) in the near future, after a Soyuz spacecraft crashed due to a malfunction during liftoff.

Earlier last week, Youssef Hesuani, the company's co-founder and managing partner told Sputnik that the unique 3D magnetic bioprinter, called Organ.Aut, would be delivered by the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft to the ISS for the world's first experiment on printing fabric of organs in space.

However, an accident occurred during the launch of a Soyuz-FG launch vehicle carrying the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft last Thursday. The launch vehicle failed minutes after the liftoff. Soyuz MS-10 was then aborted on a ballistic entry, before safely landing downrange of the launch site. Two new International Space Station (ISS) crew members, Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague, were also on board, but they safely returned to Earth in a jettisoned escape capsule.

"The magnetic bioprinter was in the habitation module, which jettisoned from the escape capsule of the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft and fully burnt," according to a source in the aerospace industry.

Fortunately Hesuani has a backup plan. "Organ.Aut and cosmonauts have a duplicate [of the printer], it will be ready to fly to the ISS in the near future," Hesuani wrote on Facebook late on Friday. " We will work out a separate cycle graph of the experiment for preparing the flight at the Progress spacecraft. The current crew has already confirmed its readiness for undergoing the remote training, so we will be ready to send the scientific equipment in any case."

The crew was supposed to go to the International Space Station and spend 187 days in orbit. The Russian program had 56 experiments planned, inlcuding conducting first experiments in 3D printing organ tissue in space. The crew intended to grow small samples (2-3 millimeters) of human cartilage tissue and the rodent thyroid gland from a hydrogel-based material.



Posted in 3D Printer



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