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ORBITEC Supports NASA Kennedys Advanced Plant Habitat for ISS
by Staff Writers
Kennedy Space Center FL (SPX) Feb 14, 2014


File image.

Orbital Technologies Corporation is supporting a NASA Kennedy development of the Advanced Plant Habitat or (APH) for life science research and investigations on the International Space Station. The support contract awarded is for ORBITEC to co-develop, with NASA engineering, the NASA managed APH system. The APH Flight units will then be fabricated, and qualified, with an anticipated goal of being delivered to the International Space Station in the 2016 time frame.

The support contract was recently augmented to continue ORBITEC's engineering support contract named the Payload Integration and Operational Support Services Advanced Plant Habitat, or APH.

ORBITEC will continue to provide engineering support to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in designing, developing, certifying, and fabricating the APH for utilization on the ISS, an Earth-orbiting laboratory which has been approved by Congress to continue operation through the year 2014.

ORBITEC successfully developed and flew a smaller system more than a decade ago and continues to extrapolate value for commercial application and advanced life support systems. The APH will have significantly larger volume, on the order of four microwave ovens, and enable a significantly larger scope of science in the gravity and higher radiation environment of space.

The Advanced Plant Habitat Facility will provide the university, government, and commercial research community a large, environmentally controlled, growth chamber for use in a micro-gravity environment.

NASA is planning to select PIs through the NASA Research Announcements (NRA) for best-value science in the APH which can have great discovery potential for human and plant related advances in space and on Earth.

The new award extends support through the remainder of the current fiscal year, with plans to continue additional work orders for the fabrication and verification of the flight hardware. This effort will provide NASA with two Advanced Plant Habitat flight units, one which will be utilized as a ground analog and scientific control to compare results from zero gravity to Earth gravity.

ORBITEC is a growing high technology development and subsystem integration company based in Madison, Wisconsin. ORBITEC offers commercially mature solutions and strong capabilities in three distinct areas: propulsion, propellant, and power systems; life support and environment control; and bio-based products and production systems. Via its spin-off company, HMA Fire LLC, ORBITEC provides state-of-the art solutions for today's firefighters.

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