Space Station Spotlight Newsletter
Welcome to Space Station Spotlight, a monthly newsletter from the ISS National Laboratory. Here’s where you can find all the latest R&D happenings on the space station, see what our partners are up to, and learn how to elevate your research to new heights by leveraging the unique space environment.

What's new at the ISS National Lab?

SpaceX’s 30th Commercial Resupply Services mission to the International Space Station launches from Florida on March 21, 2024.

Researchers are producing nanomaterials for life-saving therapies in space.

ISS crew members worked on an investigation to produce a type of nanoparticle that could be used for precision drug delivery and to treat diseases such as arthritis, cancer, and neurological disorders.

NASA astronaut Megan McArthur with the Astrobee robotic free-flyers.

Free-flying robots on station are testing new 3D mapping technology.

Crew members worked on an investigation using NASA’s Astrobee robots to test innovative mapping technology by creating detailed 3D maps of the space station.

The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft, on NASA's 30th Commercial Resupply Services mission, approaches the ISS on March 23, 2024.

Science returned to Earth on NASA’s SpaceX CRS-30 mission.

The Dragon capsule successfully splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean, returning several ISS National Lab-sponsored investigations.

Registration for ISSRDC 2024 is open.

The 13th annual International Space Station Research and Development Conference will be held in Boston from July 29 to August 1. Don’t miss early bird pricing—register now.

Partner News

NASA appointed a new ISS program manager. Dana Weigel, the first woman to serve as ISS program manager, is excited about the increasing commercial activity on station and is focused on enabling a smooth transition from the ISS to the future commercial LEO destinations (CLDs).

Boeing’s Starliner arrived at the launch pad for its first crewed test flight. Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner was installed on the Atlas 5 rocket, which will launch the crewed spacecraft to the ISS no earlier than May 6.

Funding Opportunities

NASA astronaut and Expedition 65 Flight Engineer Megan McArthur works in the Microgravity Science Glovebox on the ISS.

Step 1 for the advanced materials and manufacturing solicitation is closing soon. The ISS National Lab seeks proposals for projects to advance in-space production applications in the areas of advanced materials and manufacturing. Concept summaries are due May 2, 2024. View the concept details.

Results

A new issue of Upward was released. Read about exciting results from space-based R&D in the official magazine of the ISS National Lab. Download Volume 7, Issue 1, and other issues.

Researchers advanced new technologies using the Astrobees. Read the Upward feature “Free-Flying Robots in Space” to see how investigators used the robotic helpers to test innovative new technologies for capturing tumbling satellites in space and identifying anomalies in spacecraft and other equipment based on changes in sound.

NASA's SPHERES robots were created to test new technologies on the space station.

Workforce Development and STEM Education

Team Seagrass at Kennedy Space Center in November 2022, when they presented their experiment. From left to right: Maya Cohen, Enzo Cosio, Teya Brandes, Sadie Halvorsen, Caydin Brandes, Jersey Holeman, Naya Berman, and Peyton Pelletier

The White House highlighted an ISS National Lab educational partnership. A White House call to actionto bring the benefits of space to communities across the U.S. highlighted the ISS National Lab’s partnership with Rosie Riveters, a national nonprofit STEM education organization, to bring STEM opportunities to girls.

Student-led research launched to station on SpaceX CRS-30. Three student projects were sent to the ISS through the Higher Orbits Go For Launch! program: one studying iron levels in fruit flies, another exploring yeast growth, and the third examining whether a fungus could provide radiation protection.

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