Emulate Brain-Chip to Study the Effects of Microgravity on Human Brain Physiology at the International Space Station

BOSTON, December 21, 2021 (Emulate PR) – Emulate, Inc., a leading provider of next-generation in vitro models, today announced that the Brain-Chip was sent to the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory (ISS National Lab) to study the effects of microgravity on human brain physiology as part of the Tissue-Chips in Space initiative sponsored by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the International Space Station National Lab (ISS-NL). The ISS provides an environment where researchers can study human health in microgravity, allowing them to isolate the effects of gravity from other factors that can impact brain cell function. 

The Emulate Brain-Chip is the most comprehensive in vitro model of the human neurovascular unit, including the blood-brain barrier (BBB), for preclinical research. It contains five cell types in a dynamic and tunable microenvironment, resulting in in vivo-like gene expression and phenotypic response. Each chip is about the size of a USB thumb drive and contains two fluidic channels separated by a porous membrane. The vascular channel is lined with brain microvascular endothelial cells, while the brain channel contains cortical neurons, astrocytes, pericytes, and microglia. This allows researchers to study BBB function, the ability of drugs to cross the BBB, and the complex cell-cell interactions involved in brain physiology, disease, and drug response.

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New Research Announcement Focused on Technology Development Applications Leveraging the International Space Station

Selected proposals may have the opportunity to launch projects utilizing the International Space Station National Laboratory

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., December 7, 2021 (CASIS PR) – A new research announcement was released today soliciting flight projects leveraging the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory to advance technology development applications. The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, Inc. (CASIS), manager of the ISS National Lab, seeks flight projects within the areas of applied research and development, translational medicine, technology readiness level maturation, and technology demonstration. As a public service enterprise, the ISS National Lab allows researchers to leverage this multiuser facility to improve quality of life on Earth, mature space-based business models, advance science literacy in the future workforce, and expand a sustainable and scalable market in low Earth orbit (LEO).

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Two Startups Awarded Projects Leveraging the ISS National Lab Through MassChallenge

Selected projects to receive funding from CASIS and Boeing through the Technology in Space Prize

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla, November 2, 2021 (CASIS PR) – The Center for the Advancement of Science and Space, Inc. (CASIS) and Boeing [NYSE: BA] are awarding up to $500,000 in grants to two startup companies through the Technology in Space Prize. The startups, krtkl inc. and Oculogenex, Inc., were identified through the MassChallenge (Boston) startup accelerator program. The companies will leverage the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory, managed by CASIS, to further their research and technology development in low Earth orbit.

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ISS National Lab Announces Sustainability Challenge Focused on Plastics Alternatives in Partnership with Estée Lauder

Finalists of this Sustainability Challenge may have the opportunity to launch flight projects to the orbiting laboratory under the sponsorship of the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), October 28, 2021 – The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, Inc. (CASIS), manager of the ISS National Lab, today announced a sustainability challenge in partnership with leading global prestige beauty brand Estée Lauder. The ISS National Lab Sustainability Challenge: Beyond Plastics aims to utilize the orbiting laboratory to advance sustainability research that addresses the plastics dilemma.

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Former NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abdalati Joins CASIS Board of Directors

Waleed Abdalati

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., October 21, 2021 (CASIS PR) – The Center for the  Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), Inc., manager of the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory, today announced that former NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abdalati, Ph.D., joined the organization’s board of directors. The CASIS Board of Directors seeks to ensure and enhance the utility of the ISS National Lab to further basic and applied space-based research that brings value to our nation and drives a robust market in low Earth orbit.

“The International Space Station is home to a one-of-a-kind laboratory that provides an environment and perspective that allow us to push the frontiers in science as we seek to further understand biology, physics, and our world. It is a privilege to be part of the group that oversees the management and mission of this amazing orbiting national laboratory,” Dr. Abdalati said. 

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ISS National Lab Releases Research Announcement Focused on In-Space Production Applications in Biomanufacturing

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., October 20, 2021 (CASIS PR) – The International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory has unveiled a research announcement seeking proposals to demonstrate biomanufacturing activities in microgravity. Targeted fields such as tissue engineering and biomanufacturing provide use cases for how ISS National Lab-sponsored research may lead to new biological products and tools that benefit humankind and drive a sustainable market in low Earth orbit.

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SpaceX CRS-23 Successfully Completes Mission, Returning Critical Science Back to Earth

Cargo Dragon CRS-23 atop a Falcon 9 booster. (Credit: SpaceX)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), October 1, 2021 (CASIS PR)  – On September 30, SpaceX completed its 23rd Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to the International Space Station (ISS) when its Dragon spacecraft safely splashed into the water off the coast of Florida. SpaceX CRS-23, contracted by NASA, brought back more than 25 payloads representing science and technology demonstrations sponsored by the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory. These investigations aim to leverage the unique space-based environment of the orbiting platform to bring value to our nation and drive a robust market in low Earth orbit.

Below highlights some of the ISS National Lab-sponsored investigations that returned on SpaceX CRS-23.

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NSF and CASIS Select Three Tissue Engineering Projects to Leverage the ISS National Lab

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., September 8, 2021 (CASIS PR) – The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced three awarded projects from a joint solicitation focused on transformative tissue engineering and mechanobiology research. Through this partnership, NSF awarded $1.2 million to the selected projects to leverage the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory to advance fundamental science and biomedical engineering. CASIS, manager of the ISS National Lab, will facilitate hardware implementation in-orbit access, and astronaut crew time to support the investigations on the orbiting laboratory.

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Going to Extremes with MISSE: Advancing New Materials and Technology Outside the ISS

Photo documentation of the Materials ISS Experiment Flight Facility (MISSE-FF) platform aboard the International Space Station. (Credits: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., August 27, 2021 (CASIS PR) – The International Space Station (ISS) is an incredible research platform that has hosted more than 3,000 experiments—but not all that research takes place inside the orbiting laboratory. On the outside of the ISS, the extreme space conditions provide an unparalleled environment to test new materials and advance technologies in ways not possible on Earth.

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SpaceX CRS-23 to Launch Multiple ISS National Lab-Sponsored Investigations Into Low Earth Orbit

The International Space Station, photographed by ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli following the undocking of his Soyuz-TMA on 23 May 2011. (Credit: ESA/NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), August 24, 2021 (CASIS PR) – In the early morning of Saturday, August 28, SpaceX intends to launch its 23rd Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The mission, launching from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center no earlier than 3:37 a.m. EDT, will send more than 4,800 pounds of critical supplies and research to the orbiting laboratory. Among the cargo flying on SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft are more than a dozen payloads sponsored by the ISS U.S. National Laboratory, including physical and life sciences investigations, technology demonstrations, and student-led experiments.

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Making Space-Based Research More Affordable—With a Little Help From the Girl Scouts

The SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle is pictured docked to the Harmony module’s space-facing international docking adapter. (Credit: NASA TV)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla,, August 25, 2021 (CASIS PR) – Using ants, plants, and even brine shrimp, a group of Girl Scouts will be among the first researchers to help test a new autonomous research platform on the International Space Station (ISS) that is helping to expand the affordability of microgravity research. 

The Faraday Research Facility, developed by ISS U.S. National Laboratory Commercial Service Provider ProXopS, LLC., will launch on SpaceX’s upcoming 23rd Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission. If validated, the platform—capable of housing up to 12 remotely operated “microlab” experiments—could provide a cost- and resource-effective way to transport, conduct, and return spaceflight investigations.  

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ISS National Lab-Sponsored Investigations Ready for Northrop Grumman CRS-16 Flight to Space Station

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., August 6, 2021 (CASIS PR) – A variety of research investigations sponsored by the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory are launching onboard Northrop Grumman’s 16th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to the orbiting outpost. The mission will launch from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia no earlier than August 10, 2021, and a five-minute window for launch begins at 5:56 p.m. EDT.

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SpaceLink Selected by CASIS to Fly Relay Service Demo on International Space Station

CASIS, manager of the ISS National Lab, selects SpaceLink to demonstrate its end-to-end relay service for secure, continuous, high-capacity communications between spacecraft and the ground

MCLEAN, Va., Aug. 2, 2021 (SpaceLink PR) — SpaceLink, a company that is building the communications superhighway for the space economy, announced that it was selected by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), manager of the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory, for a funded demonstration of its end-to-end relay service which provides secure, continuous, high capacity communications between spacecraft and the ground. The demonstration will validate the use of a 10 Gigabit per second optical terminal, for real-time voice, video, and data exchange between ISS crew, onboard systems, experiments, and terrestrial users.

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Tide to Design First Laundry Detergent for Space, to Begin Stain Removal Testing on International Space Station in 2022

CINCINNATI, June 22, 2021 (Procter & Gamble PR) — Tide® has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA to help in the development of laundry detergent solutions and technology development in space. Under the agreement, NASA may test and study Tide cleaning solutions in space. The study could have potential on-planet implications like innovative solutions for resource and environmental challenges on Earth. Aligning with Tide’s decade-long sustainability commitment, Ambition 2030, Tide will strive to bring off-planet learnings back to everyday consumer products.

Currently, astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) wear clothing several times before replacing with a new set. Clothing is delivered to the station through resupply shipment opportunities. The limited cargo capacity makes the practice of replenishing the clothing supply challenging for deep space missions, such as Artemis Moon missions and a crewed roundtrip Mars mission. Without a laundry solution, 160 pounds of clothing per crew member per year are launched to ISS. Human roundtrip missions to Mars could be two to three years in length.

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