Scientific research on the International Space Station is a collection of experiments that require one or more of the unusual conditions present in low Earth orbit. The primary fields of research include human research, space medicine, life sciences, physical sciences, astronomy and meteorology.The 2005 NASA Authorization Act designated the American segment of the International Space Station as a national laboratory with the goal of increasing the use of the ISS by other federal agencies and the private sector.
The International Space Station (ISS) is a space station, or a habitable artificial satellite, in low Earth orbit. Its first component was launched into orbit in 1998, with the first long-term residents arriving in November 2000. It has been inhabited continuously since that date. The last pressurised module was fitted in 2011, and an experimental inflatable space habitat was added in 2016. The station is expected to operate until 2030. Development and assembly of the station continues, with several new elements scheduled for launch in 2019. The ISS is the largest human-made body in low Earth orbit and can often be seen with the naked eye from Earth. The ISS consists of pressurised habitation modules, structural trusses, solar arrays, radiators, docking ports, experiment bays and robotic arms. ISS components have been launched by Russian Proton and Soyuz rockets and American Space Shuttles.
A low Earth orbit (LEO) is an Earth-centered orbit with an altitude of 2,000 km (1,200 mi) or less, or with at least 11.25 periods per day and an eccentricity less than 0.25. Most of the manmade objects in space are in LEO. A histogram of the mean motion of the cataloged objects shows that the number of objects drops significantly beyond 11.25.
Space medicine is the practice of medicine on astronauts in outer space whereas astronautical hygiene is the application of science and technology to the prevention or control of exposure to the hazards that may cause astronaut ill health. Both these sciences work together to ensure that astronauts work in a safe environment. The main objective is to discover how well and for how long people can survive the extreme conditions in space, and how fast they can adapt to the Earth's environment after returning from their voyage. Medical consequences such as possible blindness and bone loss have been associated with human spaceflight.
Research on the ISS improves knowledge about the effects of long-term space exposure on the human body. Subjects currently under study include muscle atrophy, bone loss, and fluid shift. The data will be used to determine whether space colonisation and lengthy human spaceflight are feasible. As of 2006, data on bone loss and muscular atrophy suggest that there would be a significant risk of fractures and movement problems if astronauts landed on a planet after a lengthy interplanetary cruise (such as the six-month journey time required to fly to Mars).Large scale medical studies are conducted aboard the ISS via the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI). Prominent among these is the Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound in Microgravity study in which astronauts (including former ISS Commanders Leroy Chiao and Gennady Padalka) perform ultrasound scans under the guidance of remote experts. The study considers the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions in space. Usually, there is no physician on board the ISS, and diagnosis of medical conditions is a challenge. It is anticipated that remotely guided ultrasound scans will have application on Earth in emergency and rural care situations where access to a trained physician is difficult.
Muscle atrophy is defined as a decrease in the mass of the muscle; it can be a partial or complete wasting away of muscle, and is most commonly experienced when persons suffer temporary disabling circumstances such as being restricted in movement and/or confined to bed as when hospitalized. When a muscle atrophies, this leads to muscle weakness, since the ability to exert force is related to mass. Modern medicine's understanding of the quick onset of muscle atrophy is a major factor behind the practice of getting hospitalized patients out of bed and moving about as active as possible as soon as is feasible, despite sutures, wounds, broken bones and pain.
Osteoporosis is a disease where increased bone weakness increases the risk of a broken bone. It is the most common reason for a broken bone among the elderly. Bones that commonly break include the vertebrae in the spine, the bones of the forearm, and the hip. Until a broken bone occurs there are typically no symptoms. Bones may weaken to such a degree that a break may occur with minor stress or spontaneously. Chronic pain and a decreased ability to carry out normal activities may occur following a broken bone.
Human spaceflight is space travel with a crew or passengers aboard the spacecraft. Spacecraft carrying people may be operated directly, by human crew, or it may be either remotely operated from ground stations on Earth or be autonomous, able to carry out a specific mission with no human involvement.
Researchers are investigating the effect of the station's near-weightless environment on the evolution, development, growth and internal processes of plants and animals. In response to some of this data, NASA wants to investigate microgravity's effects on the growth of three-dimensional, human-like tissues, and the unusual protein crystals that can be formed in space.
The investigation of the physics of fluids in microgravity will allow researchers to model the behaviour of fluids better. Because fluids can be almost completely combined in microgravity, physicists investigate fluids that do not mix well on Earth. In addition, an examination of reactions that are slowed by low gravity and temperatures will give scientists a deeper understanding of superconductivity.
Superconductivity is a phenomenon of exactly zero electrical resistance and expulsion of magnetic flux fields occurring in certain materials, called superconductors, when cooled below a characteristic critical temperature. It was discovered by Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes on April 8, 1911, in Leiden. Like ferromagnetism and atomic spectral lines, superconductivity is a quantum mechanical phenomenon. It is characterized by the Meissner effect, the complete ejection of magnetic field lines from the interior of the superconductor during its transitions into the superconducting state. The occurrence of the Meissner effect indicates that superconductivity cannot be understood simply as the idealization of perfect conductivity in classical physics.
The study of materials science is an important ISS research activity, with the objective of reaping economic benefits through the improvement of techniques used on the ground.Other areas of interest include the effect of the low gravity environment on combustion, through the study of the efficiency of burning and control of emissions and pollutants. These findings may improve our knowledge about energy production, and lead to economic and environmental benefits. Future plans are for the researchers aboard the ISS to examine aerosols, ozone, water vapour, and oxides in Earth's atmosphere, as well as cosmic rays, cosmic dust, antimatter, and dark matter in the universe.
The interdisciplinary field of materials science, also commonly termed materials science and engineering is the design and discovery of new materials, particularly solids. The intellectual origins of materials science stem from the Enlightenment, when researchers began to use analytical thinking from chemistry, physics, and engineering to understand ancient, phenomenological observations in metallurgy and mineralogy. Materials science still incorporates elements of physics, chemistry, and engineering. As such, the field was long considered by academic institutions as a sub-field of these related fields. Beginning in the 1940s, materials science began to be more widely recognized as a specific and distinct field of science and engineering, and major technical universities around the world created dedicated schools of the study, within either the Science or Engineering schools, hence the naming.
An aerosol is a suspension of fine solid particles or liquid droplets, in air or another gas. Aerosols can be natural or anthropogenic. Examples of natural aerosols are fog, dust, forest exudates and geyser steam. Examples of anthropogenic aerosols are haze, particulate air pollutants andThe liquid or solid particles have diameters typically <1 μm; larger particles with a significant settling speed make the mixture a suspension, but the distinction is not clear-cut. In general conversation, aerosol usually refers to an aerosol spray that delivers a consumer product from a can or similar container. Other technological applications of aerosols include dispersal of pesticides, medical treatment of respiratory illnesses, and convincing technology. Diseases can also spread by means of small droplets in the breath, also called aerosols.
Ozone, or trioxygen, is an inorganic molecule with the chemical formula O
3. It is a pale blue gas with a distinctively pungent smell. It is an allotrope of oxygen that is much less stable than the diatomic allotrope O
2, breaking down in the lower atmosphere to O
2 (dioxygen). Ozone is formed from dioxygen by the action of ultraviolet light (UV) and electrical discharges within the Earth's atmosphere. It is present in very low concentrations throughout the latter, with its highest concentration high in the ozone layer of the stratosphere, which absorbs most of the Sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
When completed, The ISS will include a number of modules devoted to scientific activity as well as other hardware designed for the same purpose.
Scientific hardware not attached to any laboratory module:
Internal scientific hardware:
External scientific hardware:
Planned for launch:
Internal scientific hardware:
External scientific hardware:
Fee-based utilization of Kibo is available to unrestricted research groups for commercial use. Costs involved in the operation will be paid by each user. The results obtained through the utilization will belong to the user.
Much like NASA and JAXA, ESA also conducted numerous experiments on the International Space Station.
In May 2011, Space Shuttle Endeavour mission STS-134 carried 13 Lego kits to the ISS, where astronauts built models and saw how they reacted in microgravity, as part of the Lego Bricks in Space program. The results were shared with schools as part of an educational project.
PAO S. P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, also known as RSC Energia, is a Russian manufacturer of ballistic missile, spacecraft and space station components. The company is the prime developer and contractor of the Russian manned spaceflight program; it also owns a majority of Sea Launch. Its name is derived from Sergei Korolev, the first chief of its design bureau, and the Russian word for energy.
STS-50 was a United States Space Shuttle mission, the 12th mission of the Columbia orbiter. Columbia landed at Kennedy Space Center for the first time ever due to bad weather at Edwards caused by the remnants of Hurricane Darby.
The Japanese Experiment Module (JEM), nicknamed Kibo, is a Japanese science module for the International Space Station (ISS) developed by JAXA. It is the largest single ISS module, and is attached to the Harmony module. The first two pieces of the module were launched on Space Shuttle missions STS-123 and STS-124. The third and final components were launched on STS-127.
STS-65 was a Space Shuttle program mission of Columbia launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, 8 July 1994. The flight was commanded by Robert D. Cabana who would go on later to lead the Kennedy Space Center.
STS-73 was a Space Shuttle program mission, during October–November 1995, on board the space shuttle Columbia. The mission was the second mission for the United States Microgravity Laboratory. The crew, who spent 16 days in space, were broken up into 2 teams, the red team and the blue team. The mission also included several Detailed Test Objectives or DTO's.
Expedition 1 was the first long-duration stay on the International Space Station (ISS). The three-person crew stayed aboard the station for 136 days, from November 2000 to March 2001. It was the beginning of an uninterrupted human presence on the station which continues as of February 2019. Expedition 2, which also had three crew members, immediately followed Expedition 1.
Space manufacturing is the production of manufactured goods in an environment outside a planetary atmosphere. Typically this includes conditions of microgravity and hard vacuum. Manufacturing in space has several potential advantages over Earth-based industry.
Poisk, also known as the Mini-Research Module 2, Малый исследовательский модуль 2, or МИМ 2, is a docking module of the International Space Station. Its original name was Docking Module 2, as it is almost identical to the Pirs Docking Compartment. Added in 2009, Poisk was the first major Russian addition to the International Space Station since 2001. Poisk is overall the same design as a docking module Pirs. Whereas Pirs has been attached to the nadir ("bottom") port of Zvezda module, Poisk is attached to the zenith ("top"); Pirs is closer to the Earth with the ISS in its usual orientation, and Poisk is on the other side. Poisk is Russian for explore or search. Poisk combines various docking, EVA, and science capabilities. It has two egress hatches for EVA's in addition to the two spacecraft docking ports. Although Poisk is designated as Mini-Research Module 2, it arrived before Mini-Research Module 1 (Rassvet), which had a different design; Poisk looks more like the Pirs docking port, which is not designated as a mini-research module.
The Russian Orbital Segment (ROS) is the name given to the components of the International Space Station (ISS) constructed in Russia and operated by the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). The ROS handles Guidance, Navigation & Control for the entire Station.
Soyuz TMA-02M was a space mission that transported three members of the Expedition 28 crew to the International Space Station. TMA-02M was the 110th flight of a Soyuz spacecraft and the second flight of the improved Soyuz-TMA-M series. The Soyuz remained docked to the space station for the Expedition 28 increment to serve as a potential emergency escape vehicle.
The Matroshka experiments on the International Space Station (ISS) use a mannequin that has been used to study cosmic radiation dose types and rates that relate to the health of space travellers on long duration missions.
Kounotori 2, also known as HTV-2, was launched in January 2011 and was the second Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle to resupply the International Space Station (ISS). It was launched by the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 2 manufactured by MHI and JAXA. After the supplies were unloaded, Kounotori 2 was loaded with waste material from ISS, including used experiment equipment and used clothes. Kounotori 2 was then unberthed and separated from the ISS and burned up upon reentering the atmosphere on 30 March 2011.
The Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) is a glovebox aboard the International Space Station. It provides a safe contained environment for research with liquids, combustion and hazardous materials in the microgravity conditions of the ISS. Without the MSG, many types of hands-on investigations would be impossible or severely limited on board the Station. The Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) occupies a floor-to-ceiling rack inside the Destiny module of the International Space Station (ISS). It is more than twice as large as gloveboxes flown on the Space Shuttle and can hold larger investigations that are about twice the size of an airline carry-on bag.
ELIPS - European Programme for Life and Physical Sciences in Space and applications utilising the International Space Station started in 2001 and was intended to cover the activities for the following 5 years. This Microgravity Programme at the European Space Agency (ESA) is an optional programme, with currently 17 ESA member states participating. The ELIPS programme prepares and performs research on the International Space Station, and other unmanned mission platforms like Sounding Rockets, in fundamental and applied life and physical sciences. ELIPS is the continuation of the earlier European microgravity programmes EMIR 1&2, and the Microgravity Facilities for Columbus, MFC.
Exomedicine is the study and exploration of medical solutions in the zero gravity environment of space to promote benefits to human health on Earth. The purpose is to advance the field, study, and practice of medicine on Earth through research investigations conducted in the microgravity conditions of space which may provide advances in understanding that cannot be achieved on Earth. Although the Soviet Union launched the first space station, Salyut 1 in 1971, the United States designed and launched Skylab with the intent of advancing the field of science both in space and with regards to terrestrial applications. Beginning as a “memorandum of understanding” between NASA and ESA in 1973, the first major microgravity experiments in space were carried out by “Spacelab”. Gravity is a fundamental force on earth that influences all biological systems at a molecular level. When biomedical research is conducted in Space, in so-called microgravity environments, certain earthbound limitations disappear, new and different findings are made, and living organisms behave very differently.
Kounotori 3, also known as HTV-3, is the third Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle. It was launched on 21 July 2012 to resupply the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 3 manufactured by MHI and JAXA. Kounotori 3 arrived at the ISS on 27 July 2012, and Expedition 32 Flight Engineer and JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide used the International Space Station's Canadarm2 robotic arm to install Kounotori 3, to its docking port on the Earth-facing side of the Harmony module at 14:34 GMT.
NanoRacks LLC is a private company that develops products and offers services for the commercial utilization of space.
Made In Space, Inc. is an America-based company, specializing in the engineering and manufacturing of three-dimensional printers for use in microgravity. Headquartered in Mountain View, California on Moffett Field, Made In Space's 3D printer was the first manufacturing device in space.
The ISS US National Lab is a US government-funded national laboratory established in 2005 by the 2005 NASA Authorization Act. With principal research facilities located in the United States Orbital Segment of the International Space Station (ISS), the Laboratory conducts research in life sciences, physical sciences, technology development and remote sensing for a broad range of academic, government and commercial users. Of the 270 payloads that CASIS has sent to the ISS, 176 have been for commercial companies including Merck, Novartis, Eli Lilly and Company, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Honeywell, and Procter & Gamble.