Space Hardware Optimization Technology, Inc.(SHOT), has signed an agreement with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) which allows the company to conduct flight experiments for commercial customers on the agency's Space Shuttles.
"The Space Shuttle fleet has long been used for grant-based, pure-science investigations," said SHOT President and CEO Mark S. Deuser. "Less often have corporations been able to conduct industry-driven product research in space. We're excited to be able to begin offering commercial customers an additional opportunity to participate in microgravity studies."
Pharmaceutical, biomedical, biotechnology and other types of companies that have conducted research in space mostly have done so through one of NASA's Commercial Space Centers, often based at universities, which receive base grants from the agency. SHOT will not receive NASA base grant funding for its commercial projects.
"One of NASA's objectives is an increase in the use of space for commercial products and services," said Mark Nall, head of the Space Product Development office at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. "SHOT's independent marketing of space for industrial research helps us meet that objective."
Founded in 1988, SHOT is an applied-technology company that provides services and equipment to customers performing research both in space and in their ground-based laboratories. With experience earned from placing its hardware on three sub-orbital rocket flights and six Space Shuttle missions, the company has become a one-stop-shop for microgravity investigators.
Most current contracts are with NASA to develop biological and medical research hardware for flights aboard Space Shuttles and the International Space Station. As it does now for its NASA-sponsored payloads, SHOT will provide commercial customers with scientific and engineering services and support pre-launch, on-orbit and following Space Shuttle touchdown.