Dedicated to seizing the potential of microgravity research for commercial applications on Earth.
Company - Space Cargo Unlimited
Product/Service - REV1
- Cargo Transportation & Landers
- ISS Utilization Service
Microgravity Flight Service (LEO)
Microgravity Flight Service (Reusable Satellite)
- First launch
- Thales Alenia
The first phase contract for the conception and production for “REV1”, the first floating space factory, has been signed between Thales Alenia Space and Space Cargo Unlimited. At the same time, the opening of a Space Cargo Unlimited subsidiary in Turin was announced.
- As project contractor, Thales Alenia Space will be responsible for the design, engineering, and development of the REV1 vehicle.
- Space Cargo Unlimited will be the owner and commercial operator of the vehicle. Space thus becomes closer to the aviation sector, where aircraft manufacturers have long collaborated with airline operators.
Uncrewed rather than crewed spacecraft will be key to realizing an emerging in-orbit manufacturing industry, according to a European venture that has tasked Thales Alenia Space to develop a vehicle called REV1 for missions starting in late 2025.
- REV1 is being designed to carry up to 1,000 kilograms of payload for several months in low Earth orbit, where it would dock with a Reusable Orbiting Service Module that Thales Alenia Space is also developing.
- This service module would have solar panels and electric thrusters to remain in orbit for about 10 years, according to Gaume, or roughly 20 REV-1 missions.
- After completing its mission, a heat shield fitted to REV1 would enable it to reenter Earth’s atmosphere for a parachute-assisted landing.
- Space Cargo Unlimited said it has also secured investments from Thales’ venture capital arm and European early-stage investor Geodesic for its plans.
Product/Service - Space-CU
- In-Space Manufacturing
- In-Space Manufacturing
ISS Utilization Service
- First launch
From reinventing microbiology research in microgravity to space tourism, SCU craves to be at the forefront of the New Space revolution by providing unique new value-added products and services.
Space Cargo Unlimited has already done some work on how microgravity can impact wine — it shipped a crate of red wine to the International Space Station in 2019, and then returned it to Earth last year after a full 12 months aging aboard the station in near zero-G. Now, the startup has formed a subsidiary dedicated to in-space biotech specifically, Space Biology Unlimited, and it’s going to be the one working with Mercier on figuring out how to grow new grape vine varietals that are more resistant to changes in the climates in which they grown.
In addition to the case of Bordeaux that Space Cargo Unlimited sent up, the company also sent 320 vine canes (basically the core structure of a vine that results from the maturation of the juvenile shoot), and it just recently received those back on SpaceX’s cargo return trip from the ISS. Those canes, half from Cabernet grapes and half from Cabernet Sauvignon, have shown “unprecedented biological changes” according to Mercier CEO Guillaume Mercier in a statement. They’ll now be cloned and studied to see if they provide any advantages in terms of potential for growth on “our fast-warming planet.
Christie's said Tuesday it is selling a bottle of French wine that spent more than a year in orbit aboard the International Space Station. The auction house thinks a wine connoisseur might pay as much as US$1 million to own it. The Petrus 2000 is one of 12 bottles sent into space in November 2019 by researchers exploring the potential for extraterrestrial agriculture. It returned 14 months later subtly altered, according to wine experts who sampled it at a tasting in France.
At a press conference held Weds. in Bordeaux, France by European start-up Space Cargo Unlimited, a small panel of experts sampled the space wine for changes to its makeup. They held a blind-tasting where they compared the space wine alongside mere terrestrial bottles.