The SLSL is a world-class laboratory funded by the State of Florida, through Space Florida. The initial cost was in excess of $30 million. The SLSL, which opened for business in 2003, has all the capability and systems necessary to host International Space Station experiment processing as well as associated biological and life sciences research. Areas include Biotechnology, Microgravity, Space Agriculture, Biomedicine, Conservation Biology, and Microbial Ecology.

This unique facility serves as the initial phase of a new 400-acre Research and Technology Park atKennedy Space Center, set to be called “Exploration Park”, which will be developed by SpaceFlorida. The park will provide an ideal location for businesses and research groups with a need for close proximity to the launch and landing facilities and technical capabilities at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport.

Research is being jointly conducted at the SLSL by NASA and a number of university-led consortia. This research currently includes – astronaut bone density loss, Alzheimer’s disease (research sponsored by Space Florida), studies into ‘closed environments’ for both humans and plants during long distance space travel, LED lighting systems to increase bioprotective properties of plants, water recycling, Space Station Lighting Modules (LED replacements for fluorescent fixtures), payload rack development (Space Florida is currently co-developing *FASTRACK with NASA), regolith studies for both the Moon and Mars, and studies into plant diseases as well as the methodologies to be employed for more efficient food growth.

A Partnership between NASA and the State of Florida

The International Space Station is ushering in a new era of space exploration, scientific research and cooperation. It is fitting that it be accompanied by a new series of partnerships and collaboration between NASA and the State of Florida thus creating a vital resource for international and commercial space customers.

Partners currently at the SLSL include KSC NASA, Dynamac Corporation, Bionetics, University ofFlorida and the Florida Institute of Technology. The presence of such eminent partners at this cutting edge facility represents a significant opportunity to enhance commercial and academic access to the spaceport and the International Space Station.


FASTRACK: A Unique Experiment Platform

*FASTRACK is a universal microgravity experiment rack in development to accommodate research payloads for parabolic, suborbital and orbital applications. The project is a joint venture between Space Florida and NASA KSC. The design and production of the rack has been contracted to Bionetics Corporation and is being developed at the SLSL

In addition to financially supporting research at the SLSL, Space Florida works very closely with NASA Education and the Florida Space Grant Consortium to co-sponsor Florida undergraduates as Interns and Co-Ops each summer. In 2008 for instance, nine interns worked for a period of ten weeks and each received a stipend of $4,000.00. These internships provide NASA and partners with the opportunity to measure the achievements and abilities of young Florida graduates and offer them more permanent positions when vacancies arise. Each partner's scientific and research intellectual resources enhance the total knowledge base and expertise of the SLSL and will continue to provide a solid foundation for a new science, research, and technology development community in Florida.

The SLSL creates significant opportunities:

  • Safe, efficient, world-class experiment processing capabilities for customers who need to have their research fly in space.
  • Unique involvement with the International Space Station for long-term, high impact, space-related research and development in Florida.
  • Expanding opportunities for scientific collaboration between NASA and universities, and a hands-on mentoring and training facility for students.
  • Innovation and promotion of high-tech growth through collaboration of government, academia, and private industry.
  • National recognition for excellence in specific research and technology development.

For more information about the Space Life Sciences Lab, owned and operated by Space Florida, please contact us at 321-730-5301.