Decadal Survey

Biological and Physical Sciences Research in Space

Decadal Surveys are community-driven, bottom-up studies produced by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) that aim to formulate a community consensus about the most compelling science questions for the decade ahead in each of the disciplines. This process provides a rare opportunity for scientists and engineers to share their insights and help shape the scientific endeavors of the next decade.

Decadals serve a vital role in helping NASA define and align research to uniquely advance scientific knowledge, meet human and robotic exploration mission needs, and benefit humanity. For example, research recommended by the previous Decadal has led to:

  • scientific firsts with quantum research in space; 
  • fueled biomedical research, including in the areas of genetics, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and tissue chips;
  • contributed to greener engines, including advancements in electric vehicle charging; and,
  • contributed to new consumer products and patents.

Learn how the Biological and Physical Sciences Division is responding to the Decadal Survey, developing transformative research capabilities with the commercial space industry to increase the pace of research and drive more discoveries about living and thriving in space.

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