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ASU researchers ready to reach for the stars aboard new space station

new space station ASU.PNG
Posted at 4:37 PM, Dec 07, 2021

TEMPE, AZ — Just 12,000 miles above our heads, a new world of space innovation will soon begin.

“Exploration is just in the human genome, we are going to explore space,” said Dr. Lindy Elkins-Tanton.

“You have to envision things in your mind before they can become reality,” said Jessica Rousset.

ASU researchers like Dr. Elkins-Tanton and Rousset are helping to lead our world into that new frontier.

“This is not just a blueprint or a napkin scratch, it’s actually happening,” said Dr. Elkins-Tanton.

In just ten short years, the Orbital Reef Space Station will begin its low earth orbit. Already under construction, it will be the team at ASU helping to come up with ways to use it and connect our world's brightest minds to its unique capabilities.

“On Orbital Reef, companies can rent what are basically pods that come with all of the things they need to get started so to speak, the comm, the life support,” said Dr. Elkins-Tanton.

Those companies and researchers are then able to conduct experiments. Developing everything from new technologies to even medicine that will eventually benefit us back on earth. Many of the projects look to take advantage of the microgravity environment.

“I am going to be very interested in seeing what comes forth, what kind of businesses emerge in space,” said Jessica Rousset.

It’s also about changing humanity's perspective by experiencing what’s called the overview effect. Something bound to happen to all those that step foot on the new station is called the overview effect.

“When you're on the space station looking back at the Earth, you suddenly realize that your quibble with your neighbor doesn’t really matter, and we are one humanity on our own planet, and that kind of perspective can help us to face the challenges we have here on earth,” said Dr. Elkins-Tanton.

A feeling they hope to use to inspire the next generation of scientists to reach for the stars.

To learn more about The Orbital Reef Space Station click here.