Reference image. Photo: NASA
Suspended in space, the first remains Nau Sent from the planet with the intention of producing medicine. Large space factory, conducts Varda Space IndustriesThe US Air Force denied his request to land so he could not return to Earth.
The vessel is designed to manufacture medical supplies Microgravity, was launched on June 12 by a Falcon rocket. Currently, it is used along with protein crystals that make up the drug ritonavir. HIV treatment.
According to the United States Federal Aviation Administration, the reasons for the denial of return permission “due to a general analysis of safety, risk and impact” were indicated in an email to the TechCrunch portal.
However, from its official X account, the company indicated that the spacecraft has all its systems in good condition and hopes to continue to cooperate with its government partners to return its capsule to Earth soon.
Pharmaceutical manufacturing capsule. Photo: Varda Space
Why make medicine in space?
Because gravity and other forces on Earth’s surface do not interfere with the formation of crystals, space has the conditions to study complex three-dimensional proteins. This allows them to be produced in greater quantity and perfection as explained NASA In an article.
In this regard, it is indicated that a high concentration of these crystals could improve the way patients receive monoclonal antibodies (MAB) to treat a wide range of diseases. These are immune system proteins that are produced in laboratories and used to treat diseases such as cancer.
Contrast between crystals grown in soil (top) and in microgravity (bottom). Photo: NASA
How does the space industry work?
The First space factory It has a ship built by Rocket Lab. It provides a design that provides power, communications, propulsion and attitude control for a 120 kg capsule.
The capsule, owned by Varda Space Industries, is designed to carry medicines (30 to 60 kilograms in total) when it returns to Earth after launch in June.
After three months in orbit, the ship was tasked with producing drugs and returning them. Under current circumstances, Varda Space has assured that the design of the capsule will remain in good condition for a year, suspended in space if necessary.