Space Station Spotlight Newsletter

Welcome to Space Station Spotlight, a new 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 view of the miniPCR device in the cupola on the International Space Station.

The crew worked on a project to expand capabilities for Genes in Space student research.

Boeing is partnering with NASA and the ISS National Lab on the investigation, in which crew members collect samples from the ISS water recovery system (WRS) and use Genes in Space microbiology tools to achieve the first accurate and complete genomic profile of the WRS.
ISSRDC 2024 Keynote Announcement Kate Darling

The “Mistress of Machines” will deliver a keynote address at ISSRDC 2024.

Kate Darling, a leader in exploring the intersection of robotics and society, will discuss intelligent machines during the ISS Research and Development Conference (ISSRDC), which will be held in Boston from July 29 to August 1. Register now.
iss067e003895 (April 6, 2022) NASA astronaut and Expedition 67 Commander Thomas Marshburn configures the Combustion Integrated Racks combustion chamber for the Solid Fuel Ignition and Extinction study to investigate material flammability and ways to improve fire safety in space.

ISS National Lab CEO Ray Lugo contributed to a Nature Reviews Materials perspective.

Several investigators who have conducted ISS National Lab-sponsored research are also authors of the paper, which discusses material technologies for space medicine and the benefits of space medicine research for people on Earth.
HPE Spaceborne Computer 2

A Space News article highlighted HPE’s updated Spaceborne Computer.

The article focuses on how Hewlett Packard Enterprise is using Spaceborne-2.5, which launched to station earlier this year, to test artificial intelligence (AI) for space applications.

Partner News

Astronauts launched to the ISS on Boing’s Starliner for its first Crew Flight Test. This initial launch, through NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, is an important step in verifying the capabilities of Starliner to transport crew and supplies to the space station.

Virgin Galactic launched the final flight of the VSS Unity space plane. This is Unity’s seventh mission. It will retire ahead of the company’s new “Delta” class of spacecraft, which will begin rolling out in 2026.

Vast Space signed a cargo services agreement with The Exploration Co. of Munich. The Exploration developing a reusable space capsule that could be used to supply cargo to Vast’s Second Haven space station.

SpaceX successfully launched its Starship megarocket for its fourth test flight. The goals were to bring Starships’ first-stage booster down for a soft splashdown and achieve a controlled reentry of the upper stage.

LEO Market Update

The space industry is showing signs of a gradual broadening of investment mix. Read more on the latest developments in the space economy in an investment perspective from ISS National Lab Director of Investment and Economic Analysis Sven Eenmaa.

Global Space Economy Infrastructure & Distribution Investment Mix

Funding Opportunities

Professor Tengfei Luo works in his lab with graduate student Qiushi Zhang.

An ISS National Lab technology development solicitation is closing soon. The ISS National Lab seeks projects that leverage the ISS to develop, test, or mature products and processes with a demonstrated potential to produce near-term positive economic impact. Concept summaries will be accepted through July 12, 2024. Full details here.

The Humans in Space Challenge is accepting applications through June 27. The competition, hosted by Boryung Corp., invites startups and researchers to submit proposals for research to tackle healthcare challenges in astronauts during spaceflight or to leverage the space environment to solve health problems on Earth. Equity investment and in-orbit research opportunities are available through the challenge. To learn more, go to


The latest issue of Upward, official magazine of the ISS National Lab, is online. Explore valuable findings from space-based R&D—download the current and past issues here.

MIT tissue chip research in space could lead to new osteoarthritis treatments on Earth. Read the Upward feature “From Root Cause to Remedy” to see how MIT used an innovative tissue chip model in microgravity to better understand the initiation and progression of post-traumatic osteoarthritis.

Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques onboard the International Space Station

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