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Your Orbiting Laboratory

Since the first crew’s arrival aboard more than twenty years ago, the International Space Station has evolved into a state-of-the-art scientific lab.

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Station Research and Technology

Station Science 101

Explore this page to learn the basics of many of the science and technology investigations — in disciplines ranging from astrophysics to combustion to microbiology, and more — that are being studied on your space station.

Learn More About Research Areas Studied 
image of astronaut’s hands in glovebox
NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei works inside the Life Science Glovebox (LSG) for the Celestial Immunity study that may provide insights into new vaccines and drugs possibly advancing the commercialization of space.

Station Benefits for Humanity

The spectrum of the impact of the orbiting lab includes scientific, societal, exploration, and economic benefits as part of a growing low Earth orbit economy. Learn about the broad array of research sponsored by the station’s international partnerships and the benefits that have resulted.

Explore Station Benefits about Station Benefits for Humanity
This composite photograph, a combination of several distinct photographs, of Cuba, the Bahamas and southern Florida was captured as the International Space Station orbited 263 miles above the Caribbean Sea.

Got an Idea for a Microgravity Project?

Explore the unique opportunities the International Space Station provides researchers, scientists, payload developers, educators, students, and others.

Explore Opportunities
image of an astronaut working with a plant experiment in the space station
NASA astronaut and Expedition 69 Flight Engineer Stephen Bowen works on the Plant Habitat-03B Science Carrier, a space botany research device, in the International Space Station’s Harmony module.

Station Research Results

The International Space Station, in its third decade of continuous human presence, has far-reaching impact as a microgravity lab hosting scientific investigations and technology demonstrations from a range of fields.

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NASA astronaut and Expedition 70 Flght Engineer Jasmin Moghbeli works inside the Life Science Glovebox for the Microgravity Associated Bone Loss-A investigation. She was processing bone cell samples obtained from human donors on Earth and exploring space-caused bone loss. Results may help doctors learn how to protect and treat astronauts on long-term missions and inform treatments for bone conditions on Earth.

In Space Production Applications

NASA’s In Space Production Applications (InSPA) portfolio is leveraging more than two decades of results from the International Space Station by continuing to demonstrate the benefits of microgravity for the development of new commercial technologies and products that have the potential to improve the quality of life on Earth for people everywhere.

Learn More About InSPA
image of red bubbles in experiment hardware
View of a CFE-2 (Capillary Flow Experiment – 2) Interior Corner Flow – 8 (ICF-8) vessel set up during a test run. Liquids behave differently in space than they do on Earth, so containers that can process, hold or transport them must be designed carefully to work in microgravity. 

Space Station Research Explorer

Search or browse information at your fingertips about space station experiments, facilities, capabilities, and publications.

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NASA astronauts Jessica Meir, in a green shirt, and Drew Morgan, in a blue shirt, with their hands inside white gloves visible through the top of the Life Sciences Glovebox, a lab facility the size of a large suitcase onboard the International Space Station. A video camera sits on top of the Glovebox, which contains mouse habitats and other equipment for scientific experiments.

Ciencia en la estación

Aprende sobre las investigaciones y otras actividades a bordo de la estación espacial.

Aprende más sobre la ciencia
imagen de un astronauta trabajando en la configuración del hardware de una investigación de combustible
El astronauta de la NASA Frank Rubio trabajando en el bastidor integrado de combustión (CIR) de la Ignición y Extinción de Combustible Sólido (SoFIE) a bordo de la EEI en el laboratorio Destiny, EE.UU.


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Against the black backdrop of the vacuum of space, NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, entirely shielded by a spacesuit, works on maintenance outside the International Space Station. Using a wrench-type tool in his hands, he makes adjustments to a white outer layer of the orbiting laboratory.