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Microgravity Simulation Support Facility

Opportunities to access the International Space Station (ISS) and other platforms for microgravity research are limited. In 2017, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center established a facility with microgravity simulation devices to provide the ground simulation capability to the US research community.

The Microgravity Simulator Support Facility (MSSF) is designed to support biological research on microorganisms, cells, tissues, small plants, and small animals. The available devices can simulate conditions of altered gravity ranging from 10-3g to 1/6 G (Lunar), 1/3 G (Mars), and hypergravity up to 3g. Having this new facility provides NASA with an alternative platform for microgravity research and the opportunity to conduct experiments on ISS in parallel with conditions of simulated microgravity on the ground.

The facility can be used by NASA researchers, interns, and visiting scientists, with space biology grants or partnership agreements with NASA. Recently, a NASA Research Announcement solicitation selected 15 microgravity simulation grants, several of which are using the MSSF for their altered gravity research on plants, bacteria, squid, and human cells.

 

Scientist at NASA Kennedy Space Center

Dr. Ye Zhang, project scientist for the ISS Research Office

Anna Maria Ruby, project scientist for the ISS Research Office

Jeffrey Richards, project science coordinator and research scientist

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