KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), February 22, 2023 – Four astronauts will begin a new six-month science expedition onboard the International Space Station (ISS) through NASA’s Commercial Crew Program with the launch of SpaceX’s 6th crewed mission to the orbiting laboratory. The astronauts are set to launch to the orbiting research outpost no earlier than 1:45 a.m. EST on Monday, February 27, 2023, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen (spacecraft commander) and Warren “Woody” Hoburg (pilot) join United Arab Emirates (UAE) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi (mission specialist) and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev (mission specialist) for the flight on the SpaceX Dragon “Endeavour” spacecraft.
During their mission, which is part of Expedition 69, the Crew-6 astronauts will perform dozens of investigations sponsored by the ISS National Laboratory. These projects span a wide range of disciplines—from life and physical sciences to advanced materials, technology development, in-space production applications, and even student-led research. Results from these studies will bring value to humanity, further our ability to explore, and enable a robust market in low Earth orbit.
Below are a few highlights of ISS National Lab-sponsored investigations that will be supported during this six-month mission:
- A variety of research from federal funding institutions like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) will launch over a series of NASA-contracted resupply missions to the space station. Two investigations from the ISS National Lab and NIH Tissue Chips in Space initiative will launch in the coming weeks, both studying heart muscle tissue in microgravity to better understand heart disease and test new potential therapeutics. Additionally, NSF is funding multiple projects in the areas of physical science and tissue engineering seeking to advance fundamental research.
- Over the next six months, several private-sector partners will leverage the ISS National Lab to advance scientific knowledge for application to products on Earth. These partners range from Fortune 500 companies seeking to improve therapeutic manufacturing processes to innovative startups aiming to advance drug manufacturing technology and develop platforms to test new therapies.
- The space station is an ever-evolving research platform, and multiple projects aim to validate new facilities and capabilities for space-based research. One such study will test an updated bioprinter capable of printing human cells and tissues in microgravity that may one day be used to treat patients on Earth.
- A strategic priority for the ISS National Lab is to help inspire the next generation of researchers and explorers. Multiple student-led projects will fly and be performed by the Crew-6 astronauts. These include investigations from programs like Genes in Space, which holds an annual competition for young investigators to design genetic experiments, with the winning projects launched to station. Over the years, this program has yielded multiple publications in scientific journals that are informing the scientific community on the potential of space-based research, while enabling student curiosity in space and science.
Over the coming weeks, additional information will be made available about ISS National Lab-sponsored investigations launching on future missions to the space station.
To learn more about the research and technology development sponsored by the ISS National Lab, including how to propose concepts for future space-based research, visit www.ISSNationalLab.org.
Download high-resolution photos for this release: Crew-6 astronauts
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About the International Space Station (ISS) 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, Inc. (CASIS) manages the ISS National Lab, 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.
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