This site is a joint effort between NASA and USA International Space Station Payload Information Source

Getting on Board
The selection, funding, and logistic support of ISS research is managed through the interaction between the ISS Program and science, commercial and engineering Offices based at NASA Headquarters.

NASA's overall program, as outlined in the agency's Strategic Plan, is comprised of five Strategic Enterprises. Each enterprise covers a major area of the agency's research and development efforts. The NASA Enterprises are:

  • Biological and Physical Research--The mission of this Enterprise is to conduct basic and applied research to support human exploration of space and to take advantage of the space environment as a laboratory for scientific, technological, and commercial research. NASA's Office of Biological and Physical Research creates unique cross-disciplinary research programs, bringing the basic sciences of physics, biology, and chemistry together with a wide range of engineering disciplines. The Enterprise asks questions that are basic to our future: How can human existence expand beyond the home planet to achieve maximum benefits from space? How do fundamental laws of nature shape the evolution of life?

  • Earth Science--The mission of this Enterprise, formerly the Mission to Planet Earth Enterprise, is to use the unique vantage point of space to provide information about Earth's environment that is obtainable in no other way. In concert with research and industry partners, the Enterprise is developing the understanding needed to support the complex environmental policy and economic investment decisions that lie ahead. The Earth Science Enterprise is managed by the Office of Earth Science.

  • Human Exploration and Development of Space--The mission of this Enterprise is to open the space frontier by exploring, using and enabling the development of space and to expand the human experience into the far reaches of space. The Enterprise is managed by the Office of Space Flight whose programs provide safe, assured transportation to and from space for people and payloads, and develop and operate habitable space facilities to enhance scientic knowledge, support technology development, and enable commercial activity.

  • Space Science--The mission of the Space Science Enterprise is to solve mysteries of the universe, explore the solar system, discover planets around other stars, search for life beyond Earth from origins to destiny, chart the evolution of the universe and understand its galaxies, stars, planets, and life. The Space Science Enterprise is managed by the Office of Space Science.

  • Aerospace Technology--The mission of this Enterprise is to pioneer the identification, development, verification, transfer, application and commercialization of high-payoff aeronautics and space transportation technologies. The Enterprise is managed by the Office of Aerospace Technology.
Each of these Offices has its own procedures for soliciting, selecting, and funding research on the ISS. To provide support for research projects, the Offices have implemented Research Project Offices (RPOs) at NASA Field Centers. RPOs serve as the interface between research projects and the ISS Program, and perform other oversight and development tasks related to their disciplines.

Research opportunities that are currently being offered by NASA can be viewed at the Research Opportunities Online web site.