The International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory is soliciting flight projects for in-space production applications focused on advanced materials and manufacturing. This research announcement seeks concepts to utilize the space-based environment of the orbiting laboratory to further applications that can bring value to humanity and enable business models in space.
The International Space Station (ISS) is a one-of-a-kind laboratory that enables research and technology development not possible on Earth.
In-space production applications is a strategic focus area for the ISS National Lab. For this research announcement, flight investigations should demonstrate space-based manufacturing and production activities that enable new business growth and capital investment, represent scalable and sustainable market opportunities, and produce recurring value with the potential to generate demand for and revenue from access to space. The objective is to use the unique ISS environment to develop, test, or mature products and processes that have a demonstrated potential to produce near-term, positive economic impact. Flight projects selected via this solicitation may be awarded funding to support project development and mission integration and operations for research that will be implemented on the ISS.
One example of a project awarded through an ISS National Lab research announcement in the area of in-space production applications is LambdaVisionLambdaVision. The biotech company has launched multiple projects to the space station over the years to improve the manufacturing process for a protein-based artificial retina. Such an implant could restore vision for patients with degenerative eye diseases like retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration. The implant consists of multiple thin layers of protein, and manufacturing in microgravity could improve the uniformity of the layers.
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. A recording of a webinar from the ISS National Lab is available to the research community through the research announcement webpage.
Step 1: Concept Summaries must be submitted by end of day on April 5, 2023. Step 2: Full Proposals (from those invited to submit) will be due by end of day June 19, 2023.
To learn more about this opportunity, including how to submit a Step 1: Concept Summary, please visit the research announcement webpage.
The ISS National Lab is managed by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, Inc. (CASIS) through a Cooperative Agreement with NASA. Last year, NASA extended its Cooperative Agreement with CASIS to manage the ISS National Lab through 2027.
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.