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Flight Systems Implementation Branch

We Specialize in Space Science Payload Missions
The Flight Systems Implementation Branch of the Space Biosciences Division at NASA Ames Research Center leads space science payload missions through all phases of the project life cycle. Our multi-disciplinary team has deep and specialized expertise in project management, systems engineering, and technical monitoring. Our organization’s capabilities include requirements definition, trades, design, fabrication, verification and validation, flight certification, operations, and management of bioscience experiments for crewed and uncrewed payload missions.

Meet the Team about Flight Systems Implementation Branch

Branch Chief (ACTING)

Tara Samuels

Assistant Branch Chief

Elizabeth Pane

World Class Space Science Payload Development

The Flight Systems Implementation Branch has developed hardware platforms that enable efficient missions which can be deployed to test a variety of experiments without the need to engineer hardware from scratch.  These include the BioCulture System (which has been used for a variety of cell culture experiments), the BioNutrient System (which has been used for experiments to develop human nutrition using engineered microbes), the CapiSorb Visible System (which was used to demonstrate replacing gravity with capillary forces to control liquids that can absorb carbon dioxide), the Vented Fly Box (for fruit fly experiments), the European Modular Cultivation System (a unique incubator aboard the International Space Station that provides dedicated, controllable life support for biological experiments in a multi-gravity environment), as well as the Rodent Research Hardware System (which includes a habitat, transporter, and animal access unit).

Hypergravity Facilities

Finally, the branch boasts ground centrifugation facilities for gravitational biology research, which can accommodate different experiment payloads. Centrifuge studies allow researchers to evaluate the effects of hypergravity on various biological specimens, or the effects of the gravitational gradients experienced by astronauts as they transition to and from earth gravity.

Projects and Research

Interior view of an incubator Cassette from the Bioculture System

Bioculture System

Bionutrient growth chamber

BioNutrient System

Developing human nutrition using engineered microbes.


CapiSorb Visible System

Ames life science centrifuge

Centrifuge Facilities

European Modular Cultivation System

Experiment Unique Equipment – EMCS

Vented Fly Box (VFB) for Fruit Fly research

Fruit Fly Research

microfluidic card

Lunar Explorer Instrument for Space Biology Applications (LEIA)

Venkateswaran and Karouia

Microbial Tracking

A view of the two carousels inside the MVP

Multi-use Variable-gravity Platform

Rodent Research-5 (SpaceX-11)

Rodent Research

The Wetlab-2 system includes a Cepheid SmartCycler instrument that can perform up to 16 PCR reactions in parallel.


Scientific Publications