Information for Prospective Investigators

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Information for Prospective Space Station Researchers

Space station investigators receive funding from NASA and many other sources, and these sources determine the sponsorship for access to the laboratory. No sponsored researcher has to fund launch costs or space station laboratory facilities.

For guidance, please see this brief tutorial, How to Get New Research Onto ISS: Process (updated 2/13/15).

NASA funding for space station research is driven by the goals of the NASA Authorization Act of 2010. These goals focus on:

     ●  human health and countermeasure development to protect crewmembers          from the space environment during long-duration voyages
     ●  testing research and technology developments for future exploration missions
     ●  developing and validating operational procedures for long-duration missions
     ●  maintaining US capability in the areas of physical and life sciences through          the use of microgravity

In 2005, Congress designated the US assets of the space station a National Laboratory, opening up the use of the space station to other government agencies, the private sector, and non-profit organizations. Those space station researchers whose investigations are not funded by NASA are funded through the space station National Laboratory initiative, or through one of the space station international partners.


Where can I find funding opportunities? You can visit the space station funding page to learn the details, but in general:
    ●  NASA funding for space station use is obtained through NASA research         announcements (NRAs);
    ●  National Laboratory funding for space station use is obtained through research         opportunities with other government agencies, private, and non-profit sectors;
    ●  Space station international partner funding can be obtained through their          prospective processes.

ISS Researcher's Guide Series

The International Space Station Program Science Office has in work a 15-book Researcher’s Guide Series by discipline. The purpose of the series, which is planned for completion in 2015, is to educate potential users of the ISS platform on   how their ground‐based experiments can be translated to the space environment.  Each guide is designed to “start the conversation” of how new researchers can find opportunities as well as assistance in the proposal development process. The available books in the series can be found here.


I've got an idea. Where do I start, who do I call, and how long will it take? You can start with this tutorial (updated 2/13/15) on the research integration process. This video is also pretty handy in understanding NASA's Space Station Science process, from proposal to implementation. You can also contact the following key personnel for questions related to space station research and technology:

ISS Research Integration Office, Marybeth Edeen, Manager, 281-483-9122

ISS Program Science Office, Julie Robinson, International Space Station Chief Scientist, 281-483-5582
ISS Research & Technology: www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/
Ensures science leadership at the highest level within the ISS Program Office, represents all research on the space station.

ISS Technology Demonstration Office, George C. Nelson, Manager, 281-244-8514
For NASA-funded Technology Development and Demonstration investigations and DoD investigations.

ISS National Laboratory Office, Mike Read, Manager, 281-244-7656
For other government agency funded investigations and non-profit / commercially funded investigations.

Space Life and Physical Sciences Research and Applications / ISS NASA Research Office, Sharon Conover, Manager, 281-244-8158 www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/slpsra/index.html/
For NASA-funded Human Research Program investigations, NASA-funded Physical Science investigations, and NASA-funded Life Science investigations.

If you have additional questions that are not covered here, please call our help line at 281-244-6187 or e-mail us at jsc-iss-research-helpline@mail.nasa.gov. The phone is staffed during regular business hours, or messages may be issued after hours, and a representative will return the call on the next business day.

Facilities and Capabilities

There are a variety of laboratory facilities and capabilities designed to support a range of scientific disciplines on the space station. This tutorial offers a general overview of the research facilities and capabilities of the space station. You can learn more by visiting the Facilities page for more detailed ISS facility types and capabilities.

Why Do Research in Space?

Why do research in space? It's a common question, with uncommon answers. Below are a brief video overview and brief tutorials about the unique environment of the space station that drives new research questions.
    › Microgravity (PDF, 1 MB)
    › Elements of the Space Environment (PDF, 805 KB)
    › Earth and Space Observations (PDF, 1 MB)
    › Real Time ISS Ground Track
    › ISS Orbit Tutorial for Earth Remote Sensing


ISS R&D Conference 2015

More About Space Station Research Opportunities

Just for Researchers Space Station for Researchers Discover how NASA partners with industry, academia and federal, state, regional and local entities for research and development.
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Space Station for Students
Are you a student interested in some of the cool experiments and activities related to space station science and technology? Visit us here.
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Space Station for Educators
Are you an educator with ideas for projects or experiments that could be done on ISS? Interested in getting involved in ISS educational programs? Want useful media to explain microgravity concepts and activities? Visit us here.
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Station Research Benefits
Several patents and applications have already demonstrated Earth benefits of the public's investment in ISS research.
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ISS Research & Development Conference

This conference focuses on ISS Discoveries, Applications and Opportunities and is organized by the American Astronautical Society (AAS) with the support of CASIS and NASA.  The 2015 conference is July 7 - 9, 2015, in Boston, MA. › Read More

Coffee aboard the International Space Station› June 2012

Research in Microgravity› July 2013

Kim de Groh, right, NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.› July 2014

ISS Research and IT Customer Service Helplines

ISS Research (Customer Service) Helpline
The ISS Research Integration Office has both a phone and an email customer service helpline that Payload Developers and others interested in doing research on the International Space Station can contact to get assistance. The phone is staffed during regular business hours. After hours, please leave a message and a representative will return the call on the next business day. Or send us an email with your contact info, affiliation, detailed question(s), and how you are planning to use the info.
  Phone: 281-244-6187
  Email:  jsc-iss-research-helpline@mail.nasa.gov

ISS IT PD Liaison/Customer Service
If you have questions regarding NASA/JSC badging, security or remote computer access (e.g., to NASA internal websites, ISS Payload documentation, etc.), please email the ISS IT PD Liaison or call Customer Service. The phone is staffed live during regular business hours. After hours, please leave a message and a representative will return the call on the next business day.
  Phone: 281-244-8999
  Email:  jsc-iss-it-pd-liaison@mail.nasa.gov

Page Last Updated: March 18th, 2015
Page Editor: Kristine Rainey