Yokogawa Electric Corporation technology set to be used in life science experiments has arrived at the International Space Station (ISS).

The Japanese electrical engineering and software company’s Yokogawa CSU-W1 confocal scanner unit, a core component of Chiyoda Corporation’s COSMIC confocal microscope system, will be installed in ‘KIBO’, the ISS’ Japanese Experiment Module.

The system was transported to the ISS by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) ‘KOUNOTORI’ H-II transfer vehicle, which arrived at the ISS on 26th May.

The ISS orbits the Earth at an altitude of 400km and is the largest space station to be built to date.

With its micro-g (near zero gravity) environment, exposure to cosmic radiation and location in the near airless environment of outer space, the ISS is an ideal platform for the observation of the Earth and the cosmos, and the conduct of experiments that are advancing scientific knowledge and developing new technologies that can improve people’s lives and contribute to industry back on Earth.

KIBO is Japan’s first manned space test facility and is the largest experimental module on the ISS.



‘KIBO’, the ISS’s Japanese Experiment Module

COSMIC enables advanced live cell imaging in an actual micro-g environment, which is not possible on the Earth. This is expected to help develop basic life science and medical treatment using cells.

When combined with a microscope, the CSU-W1 enables real-time observation of the movement of proteins and physiological responses within living cells.

It is used all over the world in fields such as biology, medicine, pharmacology, agriculture, and drug discovery to perform cellular research.

In preparation for the planned commencement this fall of life science experiments aboard the KIBO module, Yokogawa worked with Chiyoda Corporation and JAXA to assist from the planning phase in development of the COSMIC system.

The system will be used in research involving the 3D biofabrication of human organs in a micro-g environment.

Hiroshi Nakao, a Yokogawa Vice-President and Head of the Company’s Life Innovation Business Headquarters, said, “We are proud to have been able to cooperate with Chiyoda Corporation in the development of the COSMIC system for JAXA, operators of the KIBO module.”

“In keeping with its announcement of sustainability targets for the year 2050, Yokogawa is working to promote well-being.”

“Encouraged by the use of the CSU-W1 for life science experiments in space that will produce benefits in a wide variety of applications, we will continue working to create value with our customers and contribute to the development of the life science field.”