ISS National Lab 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 you can elevate your research to new heights by leveraging the unique space environment.

What's new at the ISS National Lab?

A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket carrying a Cygnus spacecraft is transported horizontally to the Mid Atlantic Regional Spaceports Pad 0A, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, at NASAs Wallops Flight Facility.

Northrup Grumman’s 19th Commercial Resupply Services (NG-19) mission successfully launched to the space station in early August.

The mission included a variety of scientific payloads sponsored by the ISS National Lab, including an NSF-funded investigation designed to improve the efficiency of heat transfer devices. Learn more on the NG-19 launch page.

Crew 7 astronauts Konstantin Borisov, Andreas Mogensen, Jasmin Moghbeli, and Satoshi Furukawa.

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft “Endurance” launched a new crew of astronauts to the ISS for a six-month science expedition.

Led by NASA’s Jasmine Moghbeli, the crew of four multinational astronauts launched on August 26 and will work on a variety of ISS National Lab-sponsored investigations during their time on station.

NASA astronaut Woody Hoburg works on an experiment from Stanford University that aims to synthesize graphene aerogel in space.

The space station carried out in-orbit activities for multiple ISS National Lab-sponsored investigations this past month.

One of these investigations is part of a collaboration between researchers at Stanford University and UC Berkeley to develop higher-quality graphene aerogel for many important applications on Earth.
privateer screen

ISS National Lab partnered with Privateer for data and information sharing.

Privateer developed a version of its Wayfinder tool that will provide space traffic information to those interested in leveraging the orbiting laboratory for research purposes. Read more here.

ISSRDC Highlights

The 12th annual ISS Research and Development Conference (ISSRDC), held in Seattle earlier this month, was a huge success. This year’s event included a dynamic range of topics and speakers, providing networking opportunities and the chance for attendees to discover how to take their research to new heights.


Day 1 featured talks on innovation in the new space age. One such chat featuring Arun Sharma of Cedars-Sinai and Stefanie Countryman of BioServe Space Technologies highlighted cardiovascular research discussed in the latest issue of Upward magazine.

On Day 2, attendees were treated to talks discussing how the space station continues to serve as a valuable science platform. Susan Margulies of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) discussed some of the science investigations the agency has sponsored over the years and how crucial the platform is to improving lives on Earth.

Day 3 focused on STEM education, workforce development, and how to inspire and support the next generation of scientists, engineers, and researchers. Maynard Okereke, the Hip Hop M.D., moderated a panel that discussed how to fill gaps in the industry, while another panel of international partners discussed what various agencies around the world were doing to encourage workforce development and STEM education.

Did you miss this year’s conference? Head over to our ISSRDC 2023 Online Series to catch up on all the keynotes and sessions you might have missed or would love to watch again.


Redwire Space successfully printed a live meniscus. The company’s BioFabrication Facility (BFF) launched to the space station on NG-18 after receiving some key upgrades. In late July, the company successfully printed its first meniscus (a protective piece of cartilage between the bones in the knee) made from live cells. The tissue will be sent back to Earth and analyzed.

BioServe Space Technologies is helping to advance stem cell manufacturing in space. The company partnered with Sierra Space on a pathfinder mission to test methods for producing human hematopoietic stem cells in space. Initial findings will inform future experiments, including an investigation flying on SpX-29 later this year.

Airbus announces joint venture with Voyager Space. Airbus is partnering with Voyager Space, a Nanoracks company, to build and operate Starlab, a future commercial LEO destination.

Sierra Space partners with Redwire on commercial biotechnology and manufacturing platform for LIFE habitat. The two companies are collaborating on a commercial pharmaceutical and biotech R&D and manufacturing platform that will be integrated into Sierra Space’s Large Integrated Flexible Environment (LIFE) habitat.

NASA selects Axiom Space to fly fourth private astronaut mission. Axiom Space, an ISS National Lab Commercial Service Provider, was selected to launch a fourth private astronaut mission to the space station slated for late 2024.

Funding Opportunities

iss052e018944 (7 24 2017) NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson working with the Efficacy and Metabolism of Azonafide Antibody Drug Conjugates in Microgravity (ADCs in Microgravity). The ADCs in Microgravity investigation evaluates new antibody drug conjugates that combine an immune activating drug with antibodies in order to target only cancer cells, increasing the effectiveness of chemotherapy and reducing its side effects. In microgravity, cancer cells grow in three dimensional, spheroid structures that closely resemble their form in the human body, allowing for better drug testing. This investigation may accelerate development of targeted therapies for cancer patients.
A major ISS National Lab research announcement to advance research on cancer and other diseases was announced. the Igniting Innovation research announcement, the ISS National Lab is partnering with NASA’s Biological and Physical Sciences Division to offer resources and up to $5 million in total funding for multiple translational and transformative research and technology development projects. Concept Summaries are due September 26, 2023. Learn more here.


The latest issue of Upward, official magazine of the ISS National Lab, delves into exciting results from space-based R&D. Download the issue here.

In this issue, the feature “Stem Cells and Space” details how scientists are leveraging the orbiting laboratory for research that could lead to new and improved treatments for heart disease on Earth.

NASA Astronaut Kate Rubins examines iPSC derived cardiomyocytes grown within a fully enclosed cell culture plate.

Workforce Development and STEM Education

Space Station Explorer Exceptional Educator Award winner, Kaci Heins and Steve Jones, winner of the Tony So Excellence in Education Award

The ISS National Lab honored two of its Space Station Ambassadors with awards for excellence in STEM education. Kacy Heins was presented with the Exceptional Educator Award, and Steve Jones was chosen as the second recipient of the Tony So Excellence in Education Award. Read more about these educators here.

Isabel Jiang was selected as the newest winner of the Genes in Space annual student competition. Jiang, who was one of five finalists, is a high school student from Hillsborough, CA. Her project, which aims to investigate the mechanisms that make make latent viruses reactive in space, will fly to the ISS sometime next year. Read more here.

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