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Benefits for Humanity

Last updated: March 1, 2012

ISS Benefits for Humanity


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Executive Summary

Almost as soon as the International Space Station was habitable, researchers began using it to study the impact of microgravity and other space effects on several aspects of our daily lives. This unique scientific platform continues to enable researchers from all over the world to put their talents to work on innovative experiments that could not be done anywhere else. Although each space station partner has distinct agency goals for station research, each partner shares a unified goal to extend the resulting knowledge for the betterment of humanity. We may not know yet what will be the most important discovery gained from the space station, but we already have some amazing breakthroughs! In the areas of human health, telemedicine, education and observations of Earth from space, there are already demonstrated benefits to human life. Vaccine development research, station-generated images that assist with disaster relief and farming, and education programs that inspire future scientists, engineers and space explorers are just some examples of research benefits. This book summarizes the scientific, technological and educational accomplishments of research on the space station that has had and will continue to have an impact on life on Earth.

The benefits outlined here serve as examples of the space station’s potential as a groundbreaking scientific research facility. Through advancing the state of scientific knowledge of our planet, looking after our health, and providing a space platform that inspires and educates the science and technology leaders of tomorrow, these benefits will drive the legacy of the space station as its research strengthens economies and enhances the quality of life here on Earth for all people.

Human Health

Earth Observation and Disaster Response

Global Education


Related Publications

International Space Station Research and Development Reviews

Comprehensive International Space Station Research Accomplishments

International Space Station Science Research Accomplishments During the Assembly Years: An Analysis of Results from 2000-2008. NASA Technical Paper, 2009; TP-2009-213146-Revision A. Update expected 2012.

Benefits of Space Research

International Space Station Benefits for Humanity 2012

Benefits of Space Research, expected 2012

International Space Station Education Impacts

International Space Station Benefits for Humanity 2012

Thomas DA, Robinson JA, Tate J, Thumm T. Inspiring the Next Generation: Student Experiments and Educational Activities on the International Space Station, 2000-2006. NASA/TP-2006-213721. 2006; 1-108. Update expected 2012

Other Publications of Interest

Research in Space: Facilities on the International Space Station 2009

Reference Guide to the International Space Station 2010

The Era of International Space Station Utilization: Perspectives on Strategy From International Research Leaders 2010




This book was developed collaboratively by the members of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), European Space Agency (ESA), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos).

Product of the Program Science Forum

CSA: Nicole Buckley, Perry Johnson-Green, Thomas Piekutowski, Marilyn Steinberg, Jason Clement, Ruth Ann Chicoine

ESA: Martin Zell, Christer Fuglesang, Jason Hatton, Patrik Sundblad, Nigel Savage, Rosita Suenson, Julien Harrod

JAXA: Tai Nakamura, Shigeki Kamigaichi, Ryota Sato, Tatsuya Aiba, Masato Koyama, Yayoi Miyagawa, Shiho Ogawa, Yutaka Kaneko

NASA: Julie Robinson, Tracy Thumm, Tara Ruttley, Camille Alleyne Cynthia Evans, William Stefanov, Elizabeth Richards, Jennifer Fogarty, Judy Carrodeguas, Carolyn Knowles, Regina Blue, Kelly Humphries, Michael Curie, Joshua Buck, Brooke Boen, Kris Rainey

Roscosmos: George Karabadzhak, Igor Sorokin, Sergey Avdeev, Boris Zagreev

Managing Editor

Tracy L. Thumm, NASA

Executive Editor

Julie A. Robinson, NASA

 
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