Life Sciences

One of the most exciting research endeavors at KSC is in the realm of life sciences, thanks to the orbiting platform available on the International Space Station, which provides the opportunity to conduct long-duration experiments in microgravity.  This unique space environment allows scientists to study the risks to human health that are inherent in space exploration and to pursue innovations and discoveries in fundamental life and physical sciences not currently achievable by other means. 

The life sciences work at KSC is primarily coordinated by the NASA Space Life and Physical Sciences Research and Applications Division (SLPSRA) Division within the NASA Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD).  This organization is charged with executing high quality, high value research and application activities in the areas of Space Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Human Research and Crew Health and Safety.  SLPSRA oversees basic and mission-driven scientific research in support of human space flight and serves as agency liaison with the ISS National Laboratory management organization. 

Dozens of laboratories at KSC feature state of the art equipment and top-notch scientists to support KSC’s life sciences research.  This team, working with partners from around the country and across the globe, are steadily breaking ground that will enable humans to survive and thrive on future long-duration missions beyond low Earth orbit. Their focus areas to date include water recovery systems, atmospheric trace contaminant control systems, microbial characterization of solid waste generated in space, and food production systems.