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ISS Research Program

NASA’s Physical Sciences Research Program at the International Space Station (ISS) has conducted striking fundamental and applied research leading to improved space systems and new, advantageous products on Earth.

International Space Station Environments, Power and Research

NASA’s experiments in the various disciplines of physical science, reveal how physical systems respond to the near absence of gravity. They also reveal how other forces that on Earth are small compared to gravity, can dominate system behavior in space. The International Space Station (ISS) is an orbiting laboratory that provides an ideal facility to conduct long-duration experiments in the near absence of gravity and allows continuous and interactive research similar to Earth-based laboratories. This enables scientists to pursue innovations and discoveries not currently achievable by other means. NASA’s Physical Sciences Research Program also benefits from collaborations with several of the ISS international partners—Europe, Russia, Japan, and Canada—and foreign governments with space programs, such as France, Germany and Italy. The scale of this research enterprise promises new possibilities in the physical sciences, some of which are already being realized both in the form of innovations for space exploration and in new ways to improve the quality of life on Earth.


Acceleration Measurements

Providing a quiescent microgravity, or low-gravity, environment for fundamental scientific research is one of the major goals of the International Space Station program. This apparent weightlessness is created as the Space Station circles and falls around Earth, and the continuous free fall simulates the absence of gravity. However, tiny disturbances aboard the space station mimic … Read the rest ⇢

Operations at the GRC ISS Payloads Operations Center (GIPOC)

Glenn Research Center ISS Payload Operations Center

Glenn’s ISS Payload Operations Center (GIPOC) Provided Around-the-Clock Operations Support for Space Experiments on the International Space Station NASA Glenn Research Center’s ISS Payload Operations Center (GIPOC) allows researchers on Earth to operate experiments on-board the International Space Station (ISS) and the space shuttles. NASA’s continuing investment in the required software, systems, and networks provides … Read the rest ⇢

International Space Station

NASA’s Glenn Research Center is playing a significant role in the development and safe operation of the International Space Station (ISS). Glenn’s contributions involve several tasks that support key flight hardware including the design, development and operations of the Electrical Power System (EPS), Plasma Contactor Unit (PCU) system, and Photovoltaic Thermal Control System (PVTCS). Glenn … Read the rest ⇢

ISS Fluids & Combustion Facility

The Fluids and Combustion Facility (FCF) is a set of two International Space Station (ISS) research facilities designed to support physical and biological experiments in support of technology development and validation in space. The FCF consists of two modular, reconfigurable racks called the Combustion Integration Rack (CIR) and the Fluids Integration Rack (FIR). The CIR … Read the rest ⇢

Maintenance Work Area

The Maintenance Work Area (MWA) consists of three major components: MWA Work Surface Area (WSA), MWA Containment System, and MWA Utility Kit. Additionally, the MWA Utility Strip may be used in conjunction with the MWA Containment System. The Maintenance Work Area (MWA) Work Surface Area (WSA) provides a rigid surface on which to perform maintenance … Read the rest ⇢

Microgravity Research Flights

Microgravity research has been performed by NASA Glenn Research Center for more than 30 years. Both United States and international microgravity science partners used the facilities aboard the Shuttle, the Mir Space Station, the International Space Station and other launch vehicles, to conduct investigations in fluid physics, combustion, biotechnology and materials science.

Microgravity Science Glovebox

The Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) is one of the major dedicated science facilities inside Destiny. It has a large front window and built-in gloves to provide a sealed environment for conducting science and technology experiments. The Glovebox is particularly suited for handling hazardous materials when the crew is present.


The Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE) project involves a series of spaceflight missions with experiments flown on the exterior of the ISS to test the performance and durability of materials and devices exposed to the LEO space environment.

This is one of the first images from the Physics of Colloids in Space (PCS) on the ISS

Archived Experiments

This is a list of microgravity experiments conducted at Glenn Research Center in the past:


Two-Phase Flow in a Microgravity Environment

The Fluid Physics branch of the Microgravity Science Division at NASA Glenn Center is conducting research on the effects of microgravity on two-phase flow. Flow is essential to many processes, and there are seven kinds of flow distinguishable on earth due to forces imposed by gravity. Microgravity is able to simplify flow due to the … Read the rest ⇢

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