Kennedy Space Center (FL), August 8, 2019 – The International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory has announced two Requests for Proposals (RFPs) directed toward key areas of research that will utilize the orbiting platform. The announcement was made at the 8th annual ISS Research and Development Conference in Atlanta. The purpose of the RFPs is to solicit project concepts from investigators focused within one of two targeted areas for research and development.
The two RFPs will focus on advanced materials and industrial biomedicine—thrust areas identified by the ISS National Laboratory as having a clear path to translational or applied outcomes that improve life on Earth and/or enable development of profitable industry in low Earth orbit.
Below are details on each of the RFPs.
Applicants in the field of advanced materials science and engineering should propose flight experiments within the interior or on the exterior of the space station that enable the development of next-generation production methods, improve understanding of mechanisms involved in material transformations, advance fundamental materials discovery, or test processes or manufacturing methods of novel design and synthesis pathways.
Exposure to microgravity conditions and the extreme environment of space induces changes in materials themselves and in physical phenomena that profoundly impact materials science investigations. Previous research partners have evaluated combustion studies, complex fluid flow, unique substance interaction, materials degradation, and in-orbit manufacturing, among others.
Applicants in the field of industrial biomedicine should propose flight experiments to enable biomedical advancements with a defined pathway for translation from scientific research to industrial or clinical applications, such as new therapeutics, medical procedures, or diagnostic devices.
The unique environment of the ISS National Laboratory enables novel biomedical research approaches for studies aimed at improving patient care on Earth. Biomedical research concepts sponsored by the ISS National Laboratory include investigations by commercial companies leveraging microgravity to improve drug delivery systems, other government agencies funding transformative science, and academic inquiry to enhance fundamental knowledge of diseases on Earth.
These RFPs will follow a two-step proposal submission process. Before being invited to submit a full proposal, all interested applicants must first complete and submit for review a Step 1 Concept Summary. Concept Summaries may be submitted and will be received, evaluated, and potentially approved continuously during the year-long RFP open period.
Following three periodic Concept Summary submission cutoff dates, any concept summaries accepted prior to the published cutoff date will be invited to submit full proposals. Informational Webinars will be posted in late August on the RFP webpages.
To learn more about research sponsored by the ISS National Laboratory, please visit: www.ISSNationalLab.org.
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About the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory: In 2005, Congress designated the U.S. portion of the ISS as the nation’s newest national laboratory to optimize its use for improving quality of life on Earth, promoting collaboration among diverse users, and advancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. This unique laboratory environment is available for use by non-NASA U.S. government agencies, academic institutions, and the private sector. The ISS National Lab manages access to the permanent microgravity research environment, a powerful vantage point in low Earth orbit, and the extreme and varied conditions of space.
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