Most space-related life science programs are expensive and time-consuming, requiring international cooperation and resources with trans-disciplinary expertise. A comprehensive future program in "life sciences in space" needs, therefore, well-defined research goals and strategies as well as a sound ground-based program. The first half of this review will describe four key aspects such as the environment in space, previous accomplishments in space (primarily focusing on amphibian embryogenesis), available resources, and recent advances in bioinformatics and biotechnology, whose clear understanding is imperative for defining future directions. The second half of this review will focus on a broad range of interdisciplinary research opportunities currently supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Institute of Health (NIH), and National Science Foundation (NSF). By listing numerous research topics such as alterations in a diffusion-limited metabolic process, bone loss and skeletal muscle weakness of astronauts, behavioral and cognitive ability in space, life in extreme environment, etc., we will attempt to suggest future opportunities.