The International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory has made public its 2019 Annual Report. The report is intended to educate the public on ISS National Lab highlights and accomplishments from the 2019 fiscal year (October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019) and includes an updated look at: the ISS National Lab research and development portfolio, in-orbit activities onboard the space station, new and enhanced partnerships, research success stories, and expanding engagement and outreach. The 2019 Annual Report is now available online at
The mission for the ISS National Lab is to foster scientific discovery and technological innovation in space, expand U.S. leadership in commercial space, and inspire the next generation. Additionally, one of the core elements of ISS National Lab-sponsored research is to leverage the unique environment of the space station to benefit life on Earth. Highlights within the 2019 Annual Report that showcase how the ISS National Lab is fulfilling its mission to the American taxpayers include the following:

  • In fiscal year 2019, more crew-time hours were used for ISS National Lab-sponsored science than in any previous year.
  • More ISS National Lab-sponsored payloads were launched and delivered to the orbiting laboratory than ever before.
  • Payloads launched to the ISS National Lab continued to showcase the diversification of science and research partners leveraging the orbiting laboratory.
  • Of the projects that flew to station, more than 70% represented private-sector research and development.
  • More new projects were selected for flight to the ISS National Lab than in any other year, demonstrating the continued demand for conducting research and development in space.
  • Multiple commercial hardware facilities launched under the sponsorship of the ISS National Lab, providing researchers with new avenues to access and utilize the space station and also enabling commercial facility managers to develop business models for a more robust and sustainable low Earth orbit economy. 

“Fiscal year 2019 is the most prolific year of research and development on the ISS National Lab to date, and this report will provide audiences with a detailed overview of the efforts made to fully utilize this one-of-a-kind innovation platform,” said Ken Shields, chief operating officer of the ISS National Lab. “The ISS National Lab looks forward to building on the successes of the last fiscal year as we continue to enable and facilitate novel research investigations and engage with new collaborators interested in space-based research and development.” 

About the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory: In 2005, Congress designated the U.S. portion of the ISS as the nation’s newest national laboratory to optimize its use for improving quality of life on Earth, promoting collaboration among diverse users, and advancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. This unique laboratory environment is available for use by non-NASA U.S. government agencies, academic institutions, and the private sector. The ISS National Lab manages access to the permanent microgravity research environment, a powerful vantage point in low Earth orbit, and the extreme and varied conditions of space.