What Happens after the International Space Station is Retired: the Future of Space-based Microgravity Research

As plans for the end of ISS are being made, Aerospace Chief Technology Officer, Dr. David Miller, looks at the progress and the future of space-based microgravity lab facilities.

The International Space Station has served as a critical laboratory for microgravity research. (Credit: NASA)
The Middeck 0-g Dynamics Experiment (MODE), developed through NASA support, helped pioneer the use of the Shuttle middeck as a research laboratory and was among the first US experiments in the Shuttle-Mir program. MODE flew on two Shuttle missions, STS-48 in 1991 and STS-62 in 1994. (Credit: NASA)
The primary mirror of the James Webb Telescope (Credit: NASA)
The NASA-funded Middeck Active Control Experiment (MACE) added high-speed active control, used to develop high bandwidth robust control of multi-instrument pointing systems on a flexible structure. MACE was the first experiment inside the ISS in collaboration with the AFRL, Space Vehicle Division. (Credit: NASA)
The SPHERES facility includes remotely-operated robots capable of conducting Intra-Vehicle Activity (IVA) inside the space station. (Credit: NASA)

We operate the only federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) committed exclusively to the space enterprise.