The microgravity environment of space provides new opportunities for drug discovery and development. Until recently, the majority of studies in the microgravity of space have been conducted by astronauts aboard crewed spacecraft, particularly the International Space Station. This landscape is now changing, with the development of miniaturized platforms consisting of integrated automated systems for control of environmental conditions, flow, monitoring, and signal detection and transmission. Such systems can provide a more affordable alternative for the ISS, enable specimen exposure to hazardous conditions, and prepare the ground for deep space human exploration. The chapter presents opportunities and challenges related to experimentation aboard satellites and uncrewed space vehicles. The first part describes the experience gained through the use of uncrewed spacecraft by space agencies worldwide which set the ground for currently used platforms. Next, it reviews recent innovative systems for microgravity research flown aboard nanosatellites. The final section of this chapter provides an outlook into future technologies that will enable upscaling the experimental work conducted in microgravity.
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- Drug discovery
- Uncrewed spacecraft