International Space Station: Humankind’s Remarkable Achievement and World-Class Laboratory
For more than 20 years, humans have lived and worked continuously onboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth that will enable long-duration exploration into deep space and benefit life here on our planet. A global endeavor, 240 people from 19 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 3,000 research investigations from over 4,200 researchers in more than 100 countries.
Our Mission: We manage the International Space Station National Laboratory as a public service in order to benefit the U.S. taxpayer and to foster a scalable and sustainable low Earth orbit economy. We leverage our core competencies, facilitate public-private partnerships, and utilize the platform capabilities and unique operating environment of the space station. We create demand, incubate in-space business ventures, provide access for and awareness of fundamental science and technological innovation, and promote science literacy of the future workforce.
Space Research is Open for Everyone: Discover the ISS National Laboratory
In an effort to expand the research opportunities of this unparalleled platform, the ISS was designated as a U.S. National Laboratory in 2005 by Congress, enabling space research and development access to a broad range of commercial, academic, and government users. The ISS National Laboratory would be responsible for managing all non-NASA research, and all investigations would require the capacity to utilize microgravity for Earth benefits. Now, this unique microgravity research platform is available to U.S. researchers from small companies, research institutions, Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and others, all interested in leveraging microgravity to solve complex problems on Earth.
Our Vision: To be the Center of Excellence advancing U.S. leadership in commercial space, fostering science and innovation in microgravity and inspiring the next generation.
In 2011, the Center for Advancement of Science in Space, a nonprofit, non-government organization, was selected as the manager of this incredible research facility, with a focus on enabling a new era of space research to improve life on Earth. In this innovative role, the ISS National Lab is charged with promoting and brokering a diverse range of research in life sciences, physical sciences, remote sensing, technology development, and education.
Since 2011, the ISS National Lab has selected more than 200 ISS research projects, ranging from developing new drug therapies to monitoring tropical cyclones, improving equipment for first-responders, and producing unique fiber-optics materials in space. This research portfolio represents a growing community of researchers taking their scientific dreams beyond the limits of gravity. Working together with NASA, the ISS National Lab aims to advance the nation’s leadership in commercial space, pursue groundbreaking science not possible on Earth, and leverage the space station to inspire the next generation.
We invite you to join us on this journey.