Today, International Space Station (ISS) National Lab Chief Operating Officer Kenneth Shields spoke at Florida Space Day, an event that aims to educate Florida legislators on the importance of the aerospace industry and the impact it has on the state’s economy.
Projects and programs from Florida-based organizations represent almost 10% of the ISS National Lab research and development (R&D) portfolio. Innovative research institutions and private-sector companies in Florida are leveraging the unique orbiting laboratory to advance science and technology projects that seek to improve life back on Earth. Additionally, several Florida space companies provide commercial services that support investigators and help accelerate ISS National Lab R&D. Such companies include AECOM, Astrotech Space Operations, Boeing Space Operations Company, Micro Aerospace Solutions, and Thales Alenia Space (TAS) | ALTEC.
Below highlights some of the Florida-based projects that are utilizing the ISS National Lab to conduct valuable R&D in space to benefit life on Earth.
Plants on the ISS
Researchers at the University of Florida are using the ISS National Lab to study fundamental plant development processes in an environment free of the masking effects of gravity. Spaceflight experiments provide valuable information on plant structure and behavior that translates directly to understanding how these processes work back on Earth.
Read more in the Upward feature article “Staying True to Your Roots: Plants on the ISS.”
Democratizing Space-Based Imaging Data
HySpeed Computing has developed three products resulting from their ISS National Lab project. The company’s cloud-based apps for analyzing Earth-imaging data, available for purchase on the CloudEO store, deliver the power of image analysis to a global user community.
Read more in the Upward feature article “Constellations, Clouds, & the Conundrum of Big Data Processing: The Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean Image Processing System.”
3D Printing in Space
Made In Space manages the first 3D printer in space, allowing small-scale manufacturing of items on demand. The company has many ISS National Lab projects and also provides services to help others translate ground-based science into space-based research protocols.
Read more in the Upward feature article “The New Gold Rush: 3D Printing in Micro-G.”
Startup company Micro-gRx is using innovative lab-on-a-chip technology to study muscle wasting in microgravity. Lab-on-a-chip systems use human cells and replicate the conditions in the human body to provide higher-accuracy cell culture modeling.
Read more in the ISS360 article “Modeling Muscle Atrophy in Microgravity: Testing Lab-on-a-Chip Technology.”
Microalgae in Microgravity
Researchers at the University of Florida are engineering microalgae for growth in microgravity to understand the genetic basis of rapid biomass increase and the production of high-value compounds that can be used to develop pharmaceutical and other health-related products.
Read more in the ISS360 article “Growing Microalgae in Microgravity.”