Space Stations

Research Announcement for Technology Development Leveraging International Space Station is Open for Concepts

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
May 17, 2023
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Research Announcement for Technology Development Leveraging International Space Station is Open for Concepts
The International Space Station was pictured flying 263 miles above the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Image credit: NASA Larger image

The International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory is soliciting flight concepts for technology development that would utilize the space-based environment of the orbiting laboratory.

This solicitation, Technology Advancement and Applied Research Leveraging the ISS National Lab,” is open to a broad range of technology areas, including chemical and material synthesis in space, bonding, translational medicine, in-space edge computing and on-demand cloud computing technologies, and the application of ISS remote sensing data to improve geospatial analytics for commercial use.

Space-based technology development and demonstration is a strategic priority for the ISS National Lab, as it provides an opportunity for accelerated technology maturation that may enable advancements to improve life on Earth or build commerce in low Earth orbit. Through this research announcement, respondents may propose to use the unique environment of the orbiting platform to develop, test, or mature products and processes that have a demonstrated potential to produce near-term and positive direct or indirect economic impact.

Emphasis will be placed on proposals for testing and space-qualification of hardware prototypes and on advancing process improvements such as, but not limited to:

Hardware prototype testing: Innovations addressing hardware product development gaps and emerging technology proliferation in the areas of computer, electronics, semiconductors, nanotechnologies, robotics, sensors, communications, remote sensing, and satellite technology.
Process improvements: Use of the space station as a test bed for advancing development of facilities for high throughput investigations, use of space-based data to facilitate modeling of industrial systems, or demonstrating new methodologies for spaceflight research and development.
Advanced materials: Current advanced materials research that addresses the development of next-generation production methods, testing of novel materials, and the exploitation of materials with unique properties.
Translational medicine: Validation of accelerated disease modeling, analyzing macromolecular structures for drug design, and demonstration of novel drug delivery and diagnostic services.
As an example of recent technology development case study, Orbit Fab partnered with the ISS National Lab to test technology that supported plans to build gas stations in space. Engineering the company’s hardware for in-orbit spacecraft refueling required understanding tank dynamics in space and designing pump systems that would work in microgravity. The results of this ISS National Lab investigation successfully showed that Orbit Fab’s technology could support a wide range of propellants for spacecraft thrusters.

This research announcement will follow a two-step proposal submission process. Before being invited to submit a full proposal, all interested investigators must submit a Step 1: Concept Summary for review. The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, Inc. (CASIS) will host a webinar on May 31, 2023, at 2 p.m. ET, to discuss space station facilities and capabilities associated with this research announcement.

Step 1: Concept Summaries must be submitted by the end of day on July 10, 2023. Step 2: Full Proposals from those invited to submit will be due by the end of day October 9, 2023.

Flight concepts selected via this research announcement may be awarded funding to enable mission integration and operations support for projects that will be implemented on the International Space Station.

To learn more about this opportunity, including how to submit a Step 1: Concept Summary, please visit the research announcement webpage. To learn more about the ISS National Lab and science that it sponsors, please visit our website at

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 International Space Station 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

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