Suggested Searches

image of two astronauts observing plants from an experiment aboard the space station
BioSentinel Electromagnetic Compatibility Test
Astronaut Nicole Mann works on the BioNutrients-2 investigation

Space Biosciences at Ames

Bringing Life into space. Life is challenged by the extreme environments of spaceflight. The lower gravity levels in space and on the moon and Mars have a wide range of harmful effects on humans and other living organisms. Away from Earth, there is no air, food, and water apart from what we bring with us. Radiation levels are much higher in deep space than on Earth, posing significant health risks. These challenges must be faced if we are to explore the moon, Mars, and beyond.

Learn More About Space Biosciences about Space Biosciences at Ames

Branches of Biosciences

Learn about the three Branches of the Space Biosciences Division.

Rodent Research-6 (SpaceX-13)

Bioengineering Branch

The Bioengineering Branch is developing the next generation of life support systems to enable humans to live in space for extended periods of time with minimal resupply.

A woman stands next to a large centrifuge

Flight Systems Implementation Branch

The Flight Systems Implementation Branch integrates science, engineering, and operations to ensure mission success in the development and integration of bioscience payloads.

Expedition 67 Flight Engineer and NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren processes samples inside the Life Science Glovebox for the Immunosenescence space biology study.

Space Biosciences Research Branch

The principal mission of the Space Biosciences Research Branch is to advance space exploration by achieving new scientific discoveries and technological developments in the biological sciences.

Science Overview Pages

image showing various tubes and pouches containing live biological cultures

Cell Science

Some aspects of life function differently in space, and biologists can learn a lot about how it impacts human health by studying cells grown in the microgravity environment, or weightlessness, of the International Space Station. 

image of the Rodent Habitat hardware

Rodent Research

The Rodent Research Hardware System provides a research platform aboard the International Space Station for long-duration rodent experiments in space. Such experiments examine how microgravity affects the rodents, providing information relevant to human spaceflight, discoveries in basic biology, and knowledge that can help treat human disease on Earth.

Fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) are used for scientific research both on Earth and in space.

Fruit Fly Lab

NASA's Fruit Fly Lab provides a research platform aboard the International Space Station for long-duration fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) studies in space.

A petri dish contains colonies of fungi grown from a sample collected aboard the International Space Station during the first of

Microbial Tracking

The Microbial Tracking studies will use culture-based and high-throughput methods of molecular analysis to analyze air and surface samples returned from the space station. The high-throughput methods complement traditional culture-based methods of microbial analysis and allow for identification of “unculturable” microbes.

The Heat Melt Compactor trash management system for space in its ground configuration at NASA's Ames Research Center.

Heat Melt Compactor

Dealing with trash is a challenge wherever people work and live, and space is no exception. To better manage this, NASA is developing a new trash processing system to demonstrate on the International Space Station.

Purple-gloved hands seen holding experiment hardware with a round container at left, and plastic tube extending to the right.


The BioNutrients system uses a small storage pack containing a dried, edible growth substrate and microorganisms genetically engineered to rapidly produce controlled quantities of essential nutrients. Because the growth substrate and microorganisms both have a long shelf-life at room temperature and they only need water to be activated, the system provides a simple, practical way to produce essential nutrients on-demand.