The first customer has been signed up for the Spacehab commercial space research facility aboard the International Space Station.

The Colorado School of Mines' Center for Commercial Applications of Combustion in Space will use the Spacehab-funded furnace, known as Space-Drums, to process exotic glasses and ceramic materials in microgravity.

Boeing, meanwhile, has signed a contract with Spacehab for the use of an Integrated Cargo Carrier (ICC) to support the International Space Station assembly mission STS102 in March 2000.

This will follow similar ICC missions on the logistics flights STS96 and STS101, which are scheduled to take place this year. These will also carry Spacehab Logistics Double Modules.

STS96 is scheduled to fly in May and the launch of STS101 will follow Russia's Service Module.

Source: Flight International