Future of Drug Development in Space: Unmanned Satellites and Vehicles

Yair Glick, Sara Eyal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


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.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationHandbook of Space Pharmaceuticals
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9783030055264
ISBN (Print)9783030055257
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2022.


  • CubeSats
  • Drug discovery
  • Lab-on-chip
  • Satellites
  • Uncrewed spacecraft


Dive into the research topics of 'Future of Drug Development in Space: Unmanned Satellites and Vehicles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this