An April 8, 2022 NASA/Johnson Space Center news release said that the International Space Station (ISS) has spent more than two decades in low-Earth orbit (LEO) serving as Earth’s orbiting laboratory. Ground-breaking research aboard the station in its unique microgravity environment has led to benefits back on the ground and paved the way for future deep-space missions. As NASA sets its sights once again on the Moon and eventually on Mars, low-Earth orbit is playing an even more critical role for achieving humanity’s ambitions in outer space. NASA has long supported commercial research aboard the station sponsored by the ISS U.S. National Laboratory and has now even opened the space station for commercial activities such as private astronaut missions as part of its plan to develop a robust and competitive space economy.
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