Space Cases

The International Space Station Research and Development Conference is coming to town this month. Along with keynote speaker Elon Musk, the conference will be awash with local space scientists and entrepreneurs whose ideas are achieving escape velocity on the ISS. —Alex Pearlman

iss research and development conference

Photograph courtesy of NASA

Supriya Chakrabarti, Susanna Finn, and team
UMass Lowell

In 2016, this team of five researchers at UMass Lowell will investigate ultraviolet light in the ionosphere. The experiment will help them determine whether there is a cause-and-effect relationship between the Earth’s atmosphere and activity on the sun.

Anita Goel
Founder and CEO, Nanobiosym

Anita Goel’s iPad-sized, award-winning GeneRADAR device, created by Cambridge-based Nanobiosym, can pinpoint genetic mutations of viruses in human samples, vastly speeding up diagnoses. Microgravity accelerates the growth of viruses, so by studying them in space, Goel can make her device even smarter and faster.

Scott Bailey
Managing director, MassChallenge

Bailey’s startup accelerator has been hooking up local companies with grants from NASA’s nonprofit arm, CASIS, allowing startups to use the ISS for their research. “We care about great companies getting access to the resources that they need,” Bailey says.