SpaceX CRS-22 to Launch Technology Development and Fundamental Science Investigations on the International Space Station

SpaceX CRS-22 to Launch Technology Development and Fundamental Science Investigations on the International Space Station

Press release from: Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS)
Posted: Friday May 28 2021

Several payloads are ready to be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard SpaceX’s 22nd Commercial replenishment services (CRS) at the orbiting laboratory. The launch, contracted by NASA, is scheduled for no earlier than June 3 at 1:29 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. This mission includes more than a dozen investigations funded by the US National Laboratory of the ISS.

There is a lot of research in the fields of basic science and technological development, including multiple projects funded by other government agencies. Research in these strategic areas fosters fundamental knowledge that can enhance future demands and advanced technologies to bring value to our nation and drive a robust market in low earth orbit. Below highlights some of the fundamental science and technology development studies on SpaceX CRS-22.

The National Center for the Advancement of Translational Sciences—One of the 27 institutes and centers of the National Institutes of Health – continues to work with the ISS National Laboratory to fund projects under the Fabric shavings in space initiative. Tissue chips contain human cells grown on an artificial scaffold to model the structure and function of human tissue. This mission includes a second Investigating fabric fleas in space from the University of Washington. the The research team uses tissue chip systems that model the human kidney to better understand kidney stone formation, the body’s use of vitamin D, and a condition in which a person’s urine contains unusually high amounts of protein. The results of this investigation could lead to new treatment options for patients on Earth.

Another investigation into this mission was funded by a National Science Foundation solicitation focused on transport phenomena and fluid dynamics. In this project, researchers at the University of Delaware will examine self-assembly of colloidal particles in fluid systems, a critical phenomenon for the development of advanced electronics and nanotechnologies. The number of advanced materials produced by assembling colloidal particles is increasing. Assembly can be controlled by applying external fields, such as a magnetic field, which affect the movement of particles and their organization during assembly. Carrying out self-assembly research in microgravity is advantageous because on Earth particles settle out of liquid under the effect of gravity with a sedimentation rate that increases as they form large and complicated structures. The colloidal particles examined in this experiment could serve as building blocks for advanced materials that control the propagation of sound and heat in electronics.

Also on this mission is an investigation of the University of Notre Dame which aims to study the fundamental physics of small-scale transport phenomena. The experience goes examine how metallic nanostructures interact with light to create a high degree of local heating and evaporation of the surrounding liquid. Specifically, the research team will examine the relationship between the geometry of the nanostructure (i.e. particle size and shape and inter-particle spacing) and the process of bubble formation when nanoparticles are excited by the light. In microgravity, convection driven by buoyancy is eliminated, allowing the team to observe bubble dynamics in detail and with unprecedented clarity. A better understanding of the evaporation process could lead to several important applications, such as the development of new highly selective anticancer therapies and new methods of desalination and purification of water.

For more information on all ISS National Laboratory sponsored research launched on SpaceX CRS-22, please visit our mission presentation page. To learn more about the latest scientific and technological advancements aboard the ISS, register to attend the 2021 ISS Research and Development Conference (ISSRDC), which will be held practically August 3-5. To register for free, go to

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About the US National Laboratory on the International Space Station (ISS): The International Space Station (ISS) is a unique laboratory that makes research and technological development impossible on Earth. As a public service company, the ISS National Laboratory enables researchers to take advantage of this multi-user facility to improve life on Earth, evolve space business models, advance scientific culture of the future. workforce and develop a sustainable and scalable market in low earth orbit. Through this national orbiting laboratory, ISS research resources are available to support non-NASA science, technology, and education initiatives by U.S. government agencies, academic institutions, and the private sector. The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) manages the national laboratory of the ISS, within the framework of a cooperation agreement with NASA, facilitating access to its permanent research environment in microgravity, a point of powerful view in low earth orbit and the extreme and varied conditions of space. . To learn more about the ISS National Laboratory, visit

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