Electron microscope heads for the final frontier

Voxa CEO Chris Own

Voxa CEO Chris Own stands in the middle of a living room that’s been converted into a workshop for building and testing electron microscopes. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

SHORELINE, Wash. — Running a startup out of your garage may sound like a tech cliche, but for Voxa CEO Chris Own, it’s routine.

What’s not routine are the breadbox-sized electron microscopes that are sitting in Own’s garage, and in the living room that’s been converted into a workshop. This weekend, one of those microscopes is scheduled to be launched to the International Space Station.

Voxa’s Mochii microscope is among the science payloads that are due to go into orbit inside Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo capsule as early as Sunday, as part of an uncrewed resupply mission launching from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on the Virginia coast.

“The payload itself is an experiment,” Own told GeekWire at the family home in Shoreline. “It’s the first time an electron microscope — any instrument of this type of complexity in such a small, convenient form factor — has ever been flown.”

Get the full story on GeekWire.

About Alan Boyle

Aerospace and science editor for GeekWire, creator of Cosmic Log, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.
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