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?

ISSRDC 2024 registration is now 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. The call for abstracts for ISSRDC technical sessions is also now open.

NASA's SpaceX CRS-30 mission to the International Space Station is scheduled to launch March 21, 2024 at 4:55 pm EDT.

The ISS National Lab held a prelaunch science briefing.

Broadcast over Zoom, the briefing connected members of the media with ISS National Lab researchers to learn more about investigations launching on NASA’s SpaceX CRS-30 mission.

Researchers aim to restore vision through microgravity research.

Biopharmaceutical startup Oculogenex is leveraging the space environment to test a new gene therapy that could prevent and potentially reverse vision loss from age-related macular degeneration.

Cells in a brain organoid that was created using cells from people with Parkinson's disease and primary progressive multiple sclerosis

Scientists search for the root cause of neuroinflammation.

National Stem Cell Foundation researchers are continuing research using 3D models of the human brain derived from the cells of patients with neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease and primary progressive multiple sclerosis. Results could shed light on the mechanisms behind neuroinflammation associated with these conditions.

The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft atop the company’s Falcon 9 rocket in the vertical position at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, in preparation for the 27th commercial resupply services launch to the International Space Station. The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft atop the company’s Falcon 9 rocket

A startup is using space to advance personalized cancer screening technology.

Biotechnology startup Encapsulate is testing its automated tumor-on-a-chip system in microgravity. The system could test how well different chemotherapy drugs work on a patient’s cancer cells.

Funding Opportunities

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

A new advanced materials and manufacturing research opportunity is now open.

The ISS National Lab announced an in-space production applications solicitation for concepts that further the areas of advanced materials and manufacturing. Concept summaries are due May 2, 2024. Full details here.

Results

A new compilation issue of Upward was released.

Read about exciting results from space-based R&D in the official magazine of the ISS National Lab. Download the Volume 5 compilation issue and other issues here

Orbit Fab’s in-space refueling port is commercially available. The startup announced its RAFTI refueling port is now flight-qualified. Previously, Orbit Fab leveraged the ISS National Lab to validate its tanker technology for in-space refueling. Learn more about the company’s ISS National Lab-sponsored R&D here.

NASA astronaut Christina Koch onboard the ISS with Orbit Fabs FlexTank (left) and the rigid tanker (right) during testing.

Workforce Development and STEM Education

Space Station Ambassador and educator, Laura Tomlin participating in a reduced gravity flight as part of the Embedded Teachers Program

The ISS National Lab held a webinar on its education-focused solicitation. The webinar discussed a recent announcement soliciting proposals for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and workforce development opportunities. Full details here.

Student-led research was published in a scientific journal. Kristoff Misquitta, the high school student winner of the 2020 Genes in Space™ competition, published the results of his investigation in the journal PLOS ONE. His project validated a new inexpensive fluorescence viewer for rapid molecular diagnostics in space. Read about other Genes in Space student publications here

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