NIH and NASA Activities

Updated June 17, 2015

The NIH and NASA have a strong history of collaboration and share many interests in the life and health sciences. As research opportunities emerge, the NIH and NASA continue to explore new ways to develop partnerships that serve shared scientific interests.

NIAMS is hosting this page about NIH activities with NASA because of the Institute Director’s role as the NIH Liaison to NASA and the Institute’s involvement in early efforts to provide NIH extramural researchers with access to National Laboratory resources on the International Space Station (ISS).

NIH grantees and the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory

Photo of researchers preparing osteocyte cultures

Dr. Divieti Pajevic (c) and colleagues
prepare osteocyte cultures to go to
the International Space Station.

Future NIH-funded biomedical research on the ISS

The 2005 NASA Authorization Act designated the U.S. segment of the ISS as a National Laboratory to increase the use of ISS resources by Federal entities in addition to NASA and by the private sector. Anyone who is interested in proposing research for the ISS National Lab should carefully review the page on How to Get New Research Onto ISS and related pages for information about opportunities and facilities.

Extramural investigators with ideas for ISS National Laboratory studies that are related directly to the NIH mission are eligible to apply for grant support through NIH’s Funding Opportunity Announcements for unsolicited or investigator-initiated applications.

Other NIH-NASA Interactions

Milestones and key communications leading to the use of the ISS National Lab by NIH-funded investigators (Historic)