How to Launch a Project to the Orbiting Laboratory with the Help of Implementation Partners?

How to Launch a Project to the Orbiting Laboratory with the Help of Implementation Partners?


How to Launch Your Project to the Orbiting Laboratory


The International Space Station (ISS) serves as a unique platform for conducting cutting-edge scientific research and technological advancements. Launching an investigation to the ISS requires meticulous planning, collaboration, and support from specialized partners.

Meet the Implementation Partners

At the upcoming ISS Research and Development Conference (ISSRDC), a special session will showcase the critical role of Implementation Partners in supporting ISS research projects. These partners offer a wide range of services to ensure seamless execution, from design and preparation to in-orbit operations and payload return.

Panelists and Their Expertise

The session, titled “Enabling Technology Development on the ISS and Future LEO Platforms,” will feature insights from industry leaders:

  • Rick Mastracchio (Northrop Grumman): Former NASA astronaut and expert in transporting critical research and cargo to the ISS.
  • Kris Kuehnel (Airbus): Managing director for space exploration services, providing external ISS payload hosting services.
  • Tim Kopra (Nanoracks & Starlab): Former NASA astronaut and executive at Nanoracks, supporting projects both inside and outside the ISS.

Steps to Launch Your Project

The panel will guide attendees through the essential steps of launching a project to the ISS:

  1. Design and Preparation: Designing the investigation, securing funding, and preparing the payload for flight.
  2. Cargo Transportation: Working with providers like Northrop Grumman to transport the payload to the ISS.
  3. Payload Hosting: Selecting and utilizing external payload hosting services offered by Airbus to expose payloads to the space environment.
  4. In-Orbit Operations: Ensuring smooth operations while the payload is on the ISS, including data collection and maintenance.
  5. Payload Return: Planning and coordinating the return of the payload to Earth for analysis.

Panel Discussion and Q&A

Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with the panelists, ask questions, and gain valuable insights into the process of launching an ISS project. The session will provide practical tips and best practices for researchers aspiring to conduct research in the orbiting laboratory.


Launching a project to the ISS is a complex endeavor that requires collaboration, expertise, and support. Implementation Partners play a pivotal role in enabling technology development on the ISS and future low Earth orbit (LEO) platforms. By attending the ISSRDC session, researchers can gain invaluable knowledge and connections to successfully execute their ISS projects.


By Divya

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