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?

JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide (right) and ESAs Thomas Pesquet during the spacewalk that was filmed in cinematic VR for the Infinite

An award-winning ISS virtual reality experience returned to Houston.

“Space Explorers: The Infinite,” a traveling VR exhibit produced by Felix & Paul Studios in association with TIME Studios, was created using footage captured on station through an ISS National Lab-sponsored project.

Jessica Pham, a senior laboratory researcher with the University of California San Diego on Catriona Jamiesons team, observes cells in a nanobioreactor being prepared for a mission to the International Space Station.

Director of the Sanford Stem Cell Institute discussed ISS cancer research in a Q&A.

Catriona Jamieson talked with STAT News about her team’s multiple investigations studying cancer organoids in space.

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. Register now.

Partner News

Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser completed environmental testing. The spaceplane successfully completed rigorous environmental testing at NASA’s Neil Armstrong Test Facility, and preparations are underway to send it to Florida for final testing ahead of launch.

Blue Origin’s New Shephard suborbital vehicle flew crew to space. The reusable suborbital vehicle carried six passengers to space for the first time after a 21-month hiatus.

Funding Opportunities

The MISSE Flight Facility, a commercially available orbital research facility that resides externally onboard the ISS, offers researchers the ability to test concepts in the extreme environment of space.
A new technology development solicitation is now open. 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 latest issue of Upward, official magazine of the ISS National Lab, is online. Delve into exciting results from space-based R&D—download the current and past issues here. 

ISS testing helped lead to Orbital Sidekick’s commercial satellite success. Read the Upward feature “Sensors, Satellites, and Sidekicks” to see how the small startup leveraged the ISS National Lab to advance its hyperspectral sensor technology that can help find pipeline leaks, assess crop health, and identify wildfire risks.

The BFF successfully bioprinted live human heart tissue on station. Redwire Corporation announced its BioFabrication Facility (BFF) 3D printed heart tissue for the first time. Last year, the BFF successfully printed a human meniscus (knee cartilage).

View of the NREP through a window in the Japanese Experiment Module on the International Space Station.

STEM Education and Workforce Development

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 2024 Genes in Space student competition finalists were announced. Five student teams were chosen to present their ideas for pioneering DNA research on station at this year’s ISSRDC in Boston.

This year’s Space Station Ambassador award recipients were announced. The ISS National Lab announced two educators receiving the Space Station Explorers Exceptional Educator Award and the Tony So Excellence in Education Award. The educators will be recognized at ISSRDC 2024 later this summer. Learn how to become a Space Station Ambassador.

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