Intl. Space Station Capabilities of Research & Experiments with Detailed NASA Reports
The International Space Station has a variety of multidisciplinary laboratory facilities and equipment available to support the National Laboratory operations. These capabilities have been built by NASA and its International Partners and can be made available on a time-shared basis to other United States government agencies and private entities to pursue their own mission driven research and applications on the space station.
Meet Bigelow Expandable Activity Module from Bigelow Aerosapce
The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) is an experimental program developed under a NASA contract in an effort to test and validate expandable habitat technology. Although BEAM is a fraction of the size of the B330, it will still serve as a vital pathfinder for validating the benefits of expandable habitats. NASA will leverage the International Space Station (ISS) in order to test this technology for a two-year demonstration period.
BEAM will be launched in the unpressurized aft trunk compartment of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft on the eighth resupply mission to the ISS, SpaceX CRS-8. The launch is currently scheduled for Spring 2016.
International Space Station Facilities Research in Space 2013 and Beyond from NASA:
The laboratories and operational components of the International Space Station (ISS) have been assembled and are up and running. As all ISS partnernations expand their research programs, international collaboration and interaction among scientists worldwide is growing rapidly.
Joining the U.S. Destiny laboratory on orbit, 2008 saw the greatest expansion of research capabilities with the addition of the European Space Agency Columbus and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Kibo laboratories as well as several external platforms. Over the final years of assembly from 2009-2010, many initial experiments were completed in the newest racks and the crew complement on-board ISS doubled to accommodate six rotating crew members; thus our transition from “early utilization” to “full utilization” of ISS became reality. The ISS, now complete, serves as the world’s preeminent microgravity research facility.
Early science on ISS has taught us much about what to expect as additional research facilities become operational. Across the scientific spectrum, many hypotheses about what will happen without gravity are being challenged. Data from ISS experiments is causing scientists to rethink existing models, and propose different lines of research, as they seek to understand new data from orbit. Rather than waiting years for the next flight opportunity, ISS discoveries generate new hypotheses that can often be tested in a short period of time—in the same way that scientists would follow a compelling result in a laboratory on Earth.
We are able to push the bounds of previous research and extend the duration of experiments over many months and even years. We do not yet know what will be the most important knowledge or benefit gained from ISS, but through dedicated persistence, we do know that some amazing discoveries are yet on their way!
To learn about the internal and external facilities and capabilities on ISS, view or download PDF of this 96-page booklet at ISS Facilities Research In Space 2013 and Beyond (PDF, 4.6 MB)
External Payloads Proposer’s Guide to International Space Station:
The External Payloads Proposer’s Guide to the International Space Station (ISS) provides proposers who are new to the ISS world an overview of the capabilities, accommodations, and requirements for operating on ISS. Proposers typically include Principal Investigators, Payload Developers (PD), Systems Engineers, and others who are instrumental in developing a new proposal. The Guide is intended as a one-stop shop, with a supporting documents list, for developing proposals for operating external payloads on the ISS, and provides an overarching view of the ISS. The ISS program provides an infrastructure capable of providing external payloads valuable short- to long-term access to space.
To learn about more, view or download PDF of this guide at External Payloads Proposer’s Guide to the International Space Station (PDF, 8.9 MB)