Press Release

ISSRDC to Feature Multiple Sessions on In-Space Production Applications and its Impact on the Space Economy

By SpaceRef Editor
July 14, 2021
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The International Space Station Research and Development Conference (ISSRDC) will host multiple sessions focused on in-space production applications during its 10th annual gathering, taking place August 3-5. This year’s event, which will be virtual, brings together researchers, engineers, entrepreneurs, investors, and the general public to discuss the benefits of space-based research and technology development on the orbiting platform. The conference is hosted by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), NASA, and the American Astronautical Society.

Advancing in-space production applications onboard the space station has been identified as a strategic priority for NASA and the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory. CASIS, manager of the ISS National Lab, defines this focus area as: low Earth orbit-based applications seeking to demonstrate space-based manufacturing and production activities that (1) enable new business growth and capital investment, (2) represent scalable and sustainable market opportunities, and (3) produce reoccurring value with the potential to generate demand for and revenue from access to space. Through sessions focused on in-space production applications, ISSRDC will showcase the ways in which the ISS National Lab is driving a robust and sustainable market in low Earth orbit.

On the first day of the virtual conference, August 3, a two-part session on “In-Space Production Applications in the Low Earth Orbit Economy” will provide multiple perspectives on this topic. Part one of the session will be moderated by NASA Chief Economist and ISS National Lab Program Executive Dr. Alex MacDonald and will provide a programmatic look at in-space production applications. This portion of the session will address why in-space production applications is an important strategic focus area for NASA and the ISS National Lab and discuss its role in the future of space-based research and exploration.

Part two of the session will be moderated by Meagan Murphy Crawford, co-founder and managing partner of SpaceFund. This segment will discuss some of the pioneering companies that are leveraging the space station to test and validate in-space production applications to further their business goals and objectives. The discussion will explore why companies are investing in in-space production applications and how this investment plays into their long-term space aspirations. This part of the session will include representatives from several companies, including Kernal Biologics, Redwire Space, and Techshot.

“The International Space Station is critically important as a platform that supports testing and innovation for companies seeking novel advancements not possible on Earth because of gravity,” said NASA Chief Economist and ISS National Lab Program Executive Dr. Alex MacDonald. “In-space production applications is one of the most promising areas of focus for both NASA and the ISS National Lab, and we look forward to addressing how this burgeoning community may bring value to our nation and enable strong markets well beyond our planet.”

ISSRDC 2021 is free to attend, although registration is required. To learn more about this year’s conference, view the current agenda and speakers, and register, please visit

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About the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory: The International Space Station (ISS) is a one-of-a-kind laboratory that enables research and technology development not possible on Earth. As a public service enterprise, the ISS National Lab allows researchers to leverage this multiuser facility to improve life on Earth, mature space-based business models, advance science literacy in the future workforce, and expand a sustainable and scalable market in low Earth orbit. Through this orbiting national laboratory, research resources on the ISS are available to support non-NASA science, technology and education initiatives from U.S. government agencies, academic institutions, and the private sector. The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) manages the ISS National Lab, under cooperative agreement with NASA, facilitating access to its permanent microgravity research environment, a powerful vantage point in low Earth orbit, and the extreme and varied conditions of space. To learn more about the ISS National Lab, visit

SpaceRef staff editor.