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Points of Contact and FAQs for In Space Production Applications


View of Earth from the ISS with the suns glow in distance
An orbital sunrise is pictured from the International Space Station as it orbited 260 miles above the Pacific Ocean about 500 miles southwest of Mexico.

Point of Contact

Portfolio Manager: Kevin Engelbert

Public Affairs: Sandra Jones

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I learn more about what happens on board the space station to get ideas of possible proposals for my organization?

A: The Space Station Research & Technology page is a very informative page listing things from opportunities, latest news, benefits for humanity, experiments-facilities-results, etc. For more details, visit the Space Station Research & Technology page linked below. The Opportunities and Information for Researchers page, also linked below, delves more into the resources and reference information available to prospective researchers.

Q: What types of in-space manufacturing experiments have been selected in the past?

A: A variety of proposals ranging from stem cell therapy to 3D Medical Devices to crystal growth have been selected in the past. For a full listing of experiments and details about each one, visit our Previous Awards page.

Q: Who pays for the launch of my payload and for astronaut time to operate it?

A: InSPA awardees are not charged for transportation and crew time costs for their projects. Those costs are covered by NASA as long as the activity is sponsored by NASA or the ISS National Lab (as determined by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, or CASIS).

Q: Do I have to submit a proposal to both NASA and the ISS National Lab Research Announcements?

A: No. Proposers have the option to submit to one or both solicitations. NASA and CASIS will jointly review and approve submissions to the NASA Research Announcement, with NASA making the decision for funding and CASIS making the decision for sponsorship and use of the ISS National Lab. For those awards where the use of ISS National Lab resources is not granted, NASA has the option to sponsor the use of NASA resources under the InSPA Allocation. Submissions to the ISS NL Research Announcements will be reviewed solely by CASIS.

Q: How do I know if my concept is a good fit for InSPA?

A: InSPA is about identifying and maturing in-space manufacturing “applications” that are of high-value or provide a broad benefit to people on Earth, and for which there is a strong business case. Your concept should be based on previously published microgravity or space-based research that shows there is strong rationale for pursuing a specific application. You should have strong indications that there is market interest and a path to capitalization to support scaling and commercial operations.

Q: Can I partner with a foreign entity or person?

A: There is no restriction on teaming, however, NASA funding is for U.S. entities/persons only. Export compliance for data exchanged with foreign nationals is the responsibility of the exporter.

Q: What kind of facilities are available on board the space station for anyone to use?

A:  The International Space Station has about 190 different facilities on board available for usage. For a full listing of facilities on board station and details about each one, go to Space Station Research Explorer (SSRE).