- Press Release
- Mar 20, 2023
Next SpaceX Mission to International Space Station Includes A Variety Research
The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft will carry important research in the areas of life sciences and technology development to the International Space Station (ISS) on its 27th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission.
Approximately 20 payloads launching on this mission are sponsored by the ISS National Laboratory. These investigations aim to improve life on Earth and foster commerce in low Earth orbit. The launch is scheduled for no earlier than 8:30 p.m. EDT on March 14, 2023, from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Here is a quick look at some of the ISS National Lab-sponsored payloads on SpaceX CRS-27:
Two exciting investigations are using tissue chips—small systems that mimic human physiology—in space to improve understanding of heart disease and develop new treatments. These projects were funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (one of the 27 centers and institutes within the National Institutes of Health) through a multiyear partnership with the ISS National Lab on the Tissue Chips in Space initiative. Teams of researchers from Johns Hopkins University and Stanford University each seek to examine how engineered cardiac tissues weaken in microgravity to better understand the progression of heart disease and develop better ways to treat it in patients on Earth. Both teams have previously launched tissue chip investigations to the space station, and these latest projects will build on prior knowledge gained.
Multiple projects will test technology in the harsh environment of space. Projects that leverage external platforms on the outside of the space station are subject to extreme temperature variances, heightened levels of atomic oxygen, and radiation spikes, putting materials through the ultimate durability test. One such project from American technology company L3Harris will build on a previous ISS investigation from 2021 utilizing the Aegis Aerospace MISSE Flight Facility. Through this project, L3Harris seeks to test 3D-printed radio frequency (RF) circuits, RF communications systems, and other materials for developing smaller, more cost-effective satellites.
Researchers from pharmaceutical leader Bristol Myers Squibb will study the crystallization of biotherapeutic compounds in microgravity—where some crystals grow larger and more well-ordered than in an Earth-based environment. In this investigation, which builds on a project from 2020, the research team seeks to identify the physical conditions that result in large, high-quality crystals in microgravity. The team aims to determine how this knowledge could help improve biomanufacturing processes, elucidation of the structure of complex molecules, and convenient delivery of higher doses of therapeutic proteins on Earth.
To learn more about all ISS National Lab-sponsored investigations on this mission, please visit the SpaceX CRS-27 mission overview page.
About the International Space Station (ISS) 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, Inc. (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 www.ISSNationalLab.org.