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