Orbital Labs

International Space Station

The International Space Station is planned for assembly completion in 2010.  It is a unique partnership between the U.S., Russia, European Space Agency, Japan, and Canada. 

The ISS is the largest facility ever built in space.  It has a full-time crew of six and robust capabilities for microgravity research, including bioreactors, freezers, glove boxes, and special-purpose facilities.  Examples include:

  • Combustion Integrated Rack includes an optics bench, combustion chamber, fuel and oxidizer control, and five cameras.
  • Fluids Integrated Rack hosts investigations in colloids, gels, bubbles, wetting and capillary action, and phase changes.
  • Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus provides programmable, precision temperature control, from cold stowage to a customizable incubator, for experiments on cells, microbes, and plants.

For more information on using ISS, please see www.nasa.gov/iss-science


Credit NASA

Commercial Free Fliers

In addition to taking experiments to ISS, SpaceX plans to fly experiments on its DragonLab missions beginning in late 2010.  The DragonLab is a version of its COTS Dragon spacecraft which would orbit Earth and return.  For DragonLab specifications, see www.spacex.com/DragonLab_DataSheet.pdf.

The future offers additional destinations, such as that planned by Bigelow Aerospace.

Copyright (c) 2009 Labflight Inc.