The Baker Institute Space Policy Program and Baylor College of Medicine host the annual International Space Medicine Summit (ISMS) on the campus of Rice University in Houston, Texas. ISMS brings together the world’s leading physicians, space biomedical scientists, engineers, astronauts, cosmonauts and educators from the spacefaring nations for high-level discussions to identify not only necessary space medicine research goals but also ways to further enhance international cooperation and collaborative research. All International Space Station (ISS) partners are represented.

As we plan to return to the moon, and eventually land on Mars, international cooperation continues to play an essential role. There must be much more research to prevent and/or mitigate the medical, psychological and biomedical challenges spacefarers face. The ISS provides an excellent laboratory in which to conduct the required research. It is essential that the station be utilized to its fullest potential through cooperative studies and the sharing of equipment and instruments between the international partners. The sharing and application of the lessons learned from long-duration human spaceflight and analog research environments will not only lead to advances in technology and human knowledge to protect future space travelers but will also enhance life on Earth.