KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), November 8, 2023 – For the ninth consecutive year, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) is funding a solicitation that seeks proposals leveraging the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory for research in the physical science area of transport phenomena.
NSF will provide up to $3.6 million for multiple projects to utilize the space station for fundamental research focused on fluid dynamics, particulate and multiphase processes, thermal transport processes, combustion and fire systems, and nanoscale interactions. Microgravity affects the underlying physics in many transport processes, and some of the forces that impact fluid behavior are significantly reduced. This makes the sustained microgravity environment on the orbiting laboratory beneficial for several areas of study. Responsive proposals will describe how the investigation will utilize the unique conditions available on the space station to advance fundamental and translational research to benefit humanity.
On SpaceX’s upcoming 29th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to the space station, researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) will launch an NSF-funded investigation from a previous solicitation. The UCSB team aims to use microgravity conditions to better understand how the mucus lining of the human airway affects the delivery of medication to the lungs. The team will study the dynamics of fluid plugs as they move through gel-coated tubes, which mimic the mucosal lining in the human lung. This research could lead to improved drug delivery for respiratory distress syndrome, and ultimately, a higher treatment success rate.
Fundamental science is a strategic focus area for the ISS National Lab, and knowledge gained from such research leads to advances that bring value to our nation and further inform the scientific community. Through this partnership, the ISS National Lab will facilitate hardware implementation and in-orbit access to the ISS, and NSF will fund the selected projects to further fundamental science in the areas of transport phenomena and fluid dynamics.
Prior to submitting a full proposal to NSF for this solicitation, all interested investigators must submit an ISS National Lab Feasibility Review Form. The information provided in this form is used to evaluate the operational feasibility of the proposed research to be conducted onboard the space station.
The deadline to submit a Feasibility Review Form is January 10, 2024. Only investigators whose concept passes this Feasibility Review will be invited to submit a full proposal. The full proposal submission deadline is on March 4, 2024.
For more information on this solicitation (NSF 24-501), including how to submit a Feasibility Review Form, visit the ISS National Lab solicitation webpage. To view the full solicitation, please visit the NSF solicitation page.
To learn more about previous ISS National Lab and NSF research collaborations and additional opportunities to leverage the space station, please visit our website.
Download a high-resolution for this release: ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst conducts fluid physics research
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About the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory: The International Space Station (ISS) is a one-of-a-kind laboratory that enables research and technology development not possible on Earth. As a public service enterprise, the ISS National Lab allows researchers to leverage this multiuser facility to improve life on Earth, mature space-based business models, advance science literacy in the future workforce, and expand a sustainable and scalable market in low Earth orbit. Through this orbiting national laboratory, research resources on the ISS are available to support non-NASA science, technology and education initiatives from U.S. government agencies, academic institutions, and the private sector. The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space™ (CASIS™) manages the ISS National Laboratory®, under Cooperative Agreement with NASA, facilitating access to its permanent microgravity research environment, a powerful vantage point in low Earth orbit, and the extreme and varied conditions of space. To learn more about the ISS National Lab, visit www.ISSNationalLab.org.
About the U.S. National Science Foundation: The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts. www.nsf.gov
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