NASA Audit Says CASIS Under Performing on Key ISS Research Tasks

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The organization NASA hired to manage research aboard the International Space Station (ISS) has seriously under performed on the majority of its tasks, a new  audit from space agency’s Inspector General finds.

“Of the nine performance categories we assessed, CASIS met expectations in only two: research pathways and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education,” the report states. “For example, the STEM education performance category required CASIS to increase interest in using the National Lab as a platform for STEM education. CASIS met expectations for this performance category by funding 14 STEM education programs in FY 2016 with more than 325,000 participants.”

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CASIS and Marvel Entertainment Unveil Guardians of the Galaxy Space Station Challenge

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL. (January 10, 2018) The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and Marvel Entertainment today announced the Guardians of the Galaxy Space Station Challenge is open for American students ages 13-18 to submit microgravity flight experiment concepts that could be conducted on the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory.

The contest focuses on Rocket and Groot, characters from the Guardians of the Galaxy comic book franchise, and students are encouraged to develop flight proposals based on the attributes of these Super Heroes. The contest will run through January 31, 2018. After the contest concludes, two student-submitted flight concepts will see their vision turned into reality and become an official ISS National Lab investigation, launching to the space station in 2018.

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Zaiput’s Separators Sent to ISS to Understand Pharmaceutical Production

Zaiput’s gravity-independent liquid extraction technology will be tested in space. This will help to further our understanding of both terrestrial and extraterrestrial applications, particularly in pharmaceutical production.

Cambridge, MA (Zaiput Flow Technologies PR ) — As space travel and extraterrestrial habitation becomes a reality, it is becoming important to be able synthesize chemicals in space. Liquid separation is a key step in liquid extraction, one of the common steps in pharmaceutical production.

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NASA Sends Critical Science, Instruments to Space Station

Falcon 9 carries the Dragon cargo ship into orbit. (Credit: NASA TV)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — SpaceX launched its Dragon spacecraft into orbit for its 13th commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station on Friday morning. Dragon was lifted into orbit atop the Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida carrying crew supplies, equipment and scientific research to crew members living and working aboard the station.

This science-heavy flight will deliver investigations and facilities that study and/or measure solar irradiance, materials, orbital debris and more.

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CASIS & NSF Issue Solicitation for ISS Fluid Dynamics Research

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (CASIS PR)The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced a joint solicitation wherein researchers from the fluid dynamics community will have the ability to leverage resources on board the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory.

Up to $2 million will be awarded for multiple research investigations to support flight projects to the ISS National Laboratory. This is the second collaboration between the NSF and CASIS dedicated towards the funding of fluid dynamics concepts on board the space station to benefit life on Earth.

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New CASIS Opportunity for ISS Human Physiology Research

Kennedy Space Center, Fla., December 4, 2017 (CASIS PR) — The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), today announced a funding opportunity focused on human physiology and disease onboard the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory.

Both the NCATS and the NIBIB are part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Data from this research — which will feature “Tissue Chips” (or “organs-on-chips”) — will help scientists develop and advance novel technologies to improve human health. This announcement is part of a four-year collaboration through which NCATS will provide up to $7.6 million, subject to funding availability, for research investigations onboard the ISS National Laboratory for the benefit of life on Earth.

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CASIS & NSF Announce Research Funding Opportunity in Tissue Engineering on ISS

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., November 17, 2017 (CASIS PR) — The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced a joint solicitation wherein researchers will have the ability to leverage resources onboard the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory to support enhancements in the fields of transformative tissue engineering. Up to $1.8 million will be awarded for multiple research investigations to support flight projects to the ISS National Lab.

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Boeing and CASIS Award $500,000 for Microgravity Research Through MassChallenge

BOSTON, MA (Nov. 6, 2017) – The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and Boeing [NYSE: BA] have again joined forces to promote the use of the International Space Station (ISS) as an orbiting laboratory capable of producing cutting-edge research across numerous scientific disciplines. The two organizations on Nov. 2 granted a total of $500,000 to three microgravity research companies through startup accelerator MassChallenge™.

The awards to Cellino Biotech, Guardion Technologies, and MakerHealth mark CASIS and Boeing’s fourth year of collaboration on the “Technology in Space” prize at MassChallenge Boston.

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Orbital ATK’s S.S. Gene Cernan to Deliver Supplies to Space Station

The Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo craft approaches its 10 meter capture point where the Canadarm2 grapples resupply ship. (Credit: NASA TV)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Orbital ATK will launch its Cygnus spacecraft into orbit to the International Space Station, targeted for November 11, 2017, from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Cygnus will launch on an Antares rocket carrying crew supplies, equipment and scientific research to crewmembers aboard the station.

The spacecraft, named the S.S. Gene Cernan after former NASA astronaut Eugene “Gene” Cernan, who is the last person to have walked on the moon, will deliver scientific investigations including those that will study communication and navigation, microbiology, animal biology and plant biology.
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ISS U.S. National Lab Payloads Prepped for Orbital ATK CRS-8 Launch

SS John Glenn near the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL., November 2, 2017 (CASIS) The Orbital ATK Cygnus vehicle is slated to launch to the International Space Station (ISS) no earlier than November 11, 2017 from Wallops Flight Facility.

The Cygnus spacecraft will carry ISS National Laboratory payloads to conduct research across a variety of areas aimed at improving life on Earth. In addition to the diverse research launching to the ISS National Lab, multiple payloads focused on enabling future research missions will be part of the CRS-8 manifest. Thus far in 2017, the ISS National Lab has sponsored more than 100 separate experiments that have reached the station.

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Dragon Returns to Earth With Cargo, Experiments

Dragon spacecraft in orbit. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — SpaceX’s Dragon cargo spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, Sept. 17, west of Baja California, with more than 3,800 pounds of NASA cargo, research experiments and technology demonstration samples from the International Space Station.

The Dragon spacecraft will be taken by ship to Long Beach, California, where some cargo will be removed immediately for return to NASA. Dragon then will be prepared for a return trip to SpaceX’s test facility in McGregor, Texas, for final processing.

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Lucasfilm Creates Mission Patch Representing ISS U.S. National Laboratory Research

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., September 6, 2017 (CASIS PR) — The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) today announced the unveiling of its latest mission patch, designed by Lucasfilm, featuring characters and space ships from the Star Wars™ franchise. The mission patch represents all payloads intended for the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory in calendar year 2017. CASIS is the organization that oversees research on the ISS U.S. National Laboratory benefitting life on Earth.

“This collaboration connects the scientific promise of the International Space Station to the scientific inspiration of the iconic Star Wars TM franchise,” said CASIS President and Executive Director Gregory H. Johnson. Thus far in 2017, the ISS National Laboratory has seen well over 100 experiments launch to the space station ranging from life and physical sciences, Earth observation and remote sensing, to technology development and education payloads.

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International Space Station Cotton Sustainability Challenge Formally Opens

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. September 5, 2017 (CASIS PR) — The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) today formally opened a cotton sustainability challenge, sponsored by Target Corporation, where researchers and innovators will have the ability to propose solutions to improve crop production on Earth by sending their concepts to the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory.

The challenge will leverage a broad range of disciplines to find breakthrough solutions that can be implemented affordably and benefit the cotton production community. The challenge is slated to run from September 5th through November 1st, 2017. Selected proposals will receive grant funding through Target Corporation and ultimately manifested for flight to the ISS National Lab.

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NASA & U.S. National Lab Expand Commercial Research Opportunities in Space

Astronaut Jack Fischer working with the CASIS PCG 6 experiment in the Japanese Experiment Module. The U.S. National Lab enables space research and development access to a broad range of commercial, academic, and government users. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Designated a national laboratory, the U.S. segment of the International Space Station supports hundreds of ground-breaking government and commercial experiments in microgravity each year. NASA recently extended management of the lab to the Center for the Advancement of Science and Space (CASIS) until 2024.  In addition, NASA is announcing that it is providing a class patent waiver to third party users who privately fund their research so that these users can automatically gain title to their inventions made aboard the space station.

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Techshot Research System Headed for International Space Station

ADvanced Space Experiment Processor ((Credit: Techshot)

GREENVILLE, Ind., August 8, 2017 (Techshot PR) – Onboard the next SpaceX cargo spacecraft launching to the International Space Station (ISS) from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center will be a commercial research system owned and operated by Techshot Inc. The equipment will conduct regenerative medicine experiments on board the station before returning to Earth in the same capsule for a splashdown off the coast of Southern California approximately 30 days later.

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