The 2005 NASA Authorization Act designated the U.S segment of the ISS as a national laboratory and directed NASA to develop a plan to "increase the utilization of the ISS by other Federal entities and the private sector…" As the Nation's newest national laboratory, the ISS will further strengthen relationships among NASA, other Federal entities, and private sector leaders in the pursuit of national priorities for the advancement of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The ISS National Laboratory will also open new paths for the exploration and economic development of Space.

    1.  The National Laboratory concept is an opportunity to expand the US economy in space-based research, applications and operations.

    2.  The International Space Station represents a unique and highly visible national asset with surplus capacity available for a wide spectrum of applications.

    3.  NASA will continue to cover cost of operating and maintaining the ISS, and is highly motivated to work with other agencies and organizations to pursue applications.


  • Third grade students from Middle Creek Elementary School, Durham, NC, are comparing the growth of seeds in the Space Station to the growth of similar seeds on Earth.

    Inspiring Teachers and Students

    A multi-agency task force looks at how the Space Station National Laboratory can inspire teachers and students about science, technology, engineering and math.

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