Suggested Searches

Station Science 101

Discover key research areas studied on the International Space Station. 





Featured Story

Why Do Research On The International Space Station?

The International Space Station is a modern marvel. Only 400 kilometers (250 miles) above our heads, it streaks spectacularly across…

Read the Story

Biology and Biotechnology

Wherever there are humans, there are microbes, too. Bacteria and fungi live all around us, in our homes, offices, industrial areas, the outdoors – even in space. People literally could not live without these tiny organisms, many of which are beneficial.

Explore Studies in This Discipline
image of an astronaut working on a plant experiment inside the space station
NASA astronaut and Expedition 66 Flight Engineer Kayla Barron checks out plants growing inside the Veggie botany research facility for the Veggie PONDS experiment. The investigation tests ways to grow crops in space to supporting long-term crewed missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.

Earth and Space Science

The presence of the space station in low Earth orbit provides a unique vantage point for collecting Earth and space science data.

Explore Studies in This Discipline about Earth and Space Science
ISS photo of Earth's limb, showing clouds over the sea and sunset glint on the waters below.

Human Research

Researchers from around the world use the International Space Station to address complex human health problems on Earth, studying disease formation, testing drugs and diagnostic tools, and examining the inner workings of the human body. Much of this work employs unique microgravity tools including protein crystals and tissue chips, as well as devices designed specifically for space but that also have been adapted for use on Earth. 

Explore Studies in This Discipline
image of an astronaut conducting an eye exam while in the space station
Astronaut Karen Nyberg, Expedition 37 flight engineer, performs an Ocular Health (OH) Fundoscope Exam in the Destiny laboratory of the International Space Station.

Physical Science

The unique microgravity environment onboard the space station allows different physical properties to dominate systems, and these have been harnessed for a wide variety of applications.

Explore Studies in This Discipline about Physical Science
This image of the whole sky shows 22 months of X-ray data recorded by NASA's Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) payload aboard the International Space Station during its nighttime slews between targets. Use the slider to identify prominent sources. NICER frequently observes targets best suited to its core mission (“mass-radius” pulsars) and those whose regular pulses are ideal for the Station Explorer for X-ray Timing and Navigation Technology (SEXTANT) experiment. One day they could form the basis of a GPS-like system for navigating the solar system.

Technology Demonstration

From DNA sequencing to 3D printing, studies on the space station can test a variety of technologies, systems, and materials that will benefit life on Earth and be needed for future long-duration exploration missions.

Explore Studies in This Discipline
image of a cubesat being deployed from the space station
The J-SS0D-23 CubeSat mission is shown as deployed from the International Space Station.
Things behave a bit differently aboard the International Space Station, thanks to microgravity. Sure, floating looks like fun, but it could also unlock new scientific discoveries. Microgravity makes the station the perfect place to perform research that is changing the lives of people on Earth, and preparing us to go deeper into space.