The 2022 edition of the International Space Station Benefits for Humanity publication is packed with numerous benefits of the microgravity laboratory highlighting groundbreaking discoveries helping society, technologies tested for future space exploration, new scientific breakthroughs, and contributions to the growing low-Earth orbit (LEO) economy.
Over more than two decades, the ISS has evolved into an advanced microgravity laboratory for human space operations and science. The space station offers researchers worldwide the opportunity to utilize the unique environmental conditions of LEO, supporting hundreds of experiments across every major scientific field at any given time. With over 20 years of research and 3,300 experiments hosted aboard the station, now more than ever discoveries and developments are taking shape. The station's ability to foster research has aided in the growing commercial space economy allowing new players to enter the space marketplace and launching flourishing businesses back on Earth.
“This edition focuses on new areas of scientific study that are resulting from the last two decades of ISS research, future technologies for the exploration of the Moon and Mars, lifesaving discoveries, and the companies and economic benefits enabled by this research.” said Dr. Kirt Costello, chief scientist for the space station at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Some of the benefits featured in this edition include how:
- Advances in X-ray technologies that were developed to create NICER, a space station telescope, are helping unravel the mysteries of our universe while improving medical devices on Earth.
- Drugs, cancer treatment strategies, and artificial blood developed from protein crystal growth studies aboard station are improving human and animal health.
- Data from NASA's ECOSTRESS payload has been employed in efforts to reduce heat absorbed by city surfaces, reduce fire risk, and help farmers efficiently water their fields.
- Station is inspiring the next generation of scientists by providing to conduct meaningful studies on topics such as DNA sequencing, robotics, and satellites in orbit.
- The orbiting laboratory is advancing the field of in-space manufacturing, from 3D printed human tissue to optical fibers for communication.
“The research done on the International Space Station advances scientific understanding of our planet, improves human health, develops cutting-edge technologies, and inspires and educates the leaders of tomorrow through its successful international partnerships; a truly exciting mission and part of a legacy that will be felt for decades to come,” said Costello.