Cygnus to Carry Variety of Life & Physical Science Investigations to Space Station

The U.S. Cygnus space freighter is pictured as the Canadarm2 robotic arm, guided by NASA astronaut Jessica Meir with fellow Flight Engineer Christina Koch as her back up, reaches out to grapple the 12th resupply ship from Northrop Grumman on November 4, 2019. (Credits: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., September 25, 2020 (CASIS PR) – More than 20 payloads sponsored by the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory are loaded onto Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft, scheduled to launch to the orbiting laboratory no earlier than September 29 at 10:26 p.m. ET.

The launch, which will take place from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, represents Northrop Grumman’s 14th commercial resupply services (CRS) mission to the space station, contracted through NASA. This mission will deliver a multitude of research experiments to be conducted by ISS crew members over the coming months, including several physical and life science investigations. 

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Former NASA Astronaut James Pawelczyk Joins CASIS Board of Directors

James Pawelczyk

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), September 18, 2020 – The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the organization that manages the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory pursuant to a Cooperative Agreement with NASA, today announced that former NASA astronaut James (Jim) Pawelczyk, Ph.D., has joined the organization’s board of directors.

As the newest member of the CASIS board of directors, Pawelczyk will join a group that seeks to ensure and enhance the use of the ISS National Lab through basic and applied space-based research, continuing the progress toward our nation’s goal of developing a sustainable market economy in low Earth orbit.

In addition to Pawelczyk’s experience as a NASA payload specialist onboard STS-90, a role in which he logged more 381 hours in space, he joins the board as an acclaimed researcher in the fields of physiology and kinesiology. Pawelczyk has published more than 50 papers, with many focused on the effects of spaceflight on human health.

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ASCENDxSummit to Feature Multiple Discussions on Leveraging ISS U.S. National Laboratory

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), August 18, 2020 – At the upcoming ASCENDxSummit: Space Science & Technology online event, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) will highlight the many benefits and opportunities that exist through conducting research onboard the International Space Station (ISS).

CASIS is the nonprofit organization responsible for managing the ISS U.S. National Laboratory, which enables and supports investigations and technology demonstrations that both advance basic and applied research as well as continue progress toward our nation’s goal of developing a market economy in low Earth orbit (LEO).

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CASIS Board of Directors Welcomes New Members

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., August 12, 2020 (CASIS PR) – The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the organization that manages the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory pursuant to a Cooperative Agreement with NASA, has inducted four new members to the organization’s board of directors.

As directors on the CASIS board, these highly decorated and scientifically diverse leaders will work with existing board members, executive staff, and NASA stakeholders to determine organizational priorities. The board seeks to ensure and enhance the ability of CASIS to optimize the use of the ISS National Lab through basic and applied space-based investigations that will continue progress toward our nation’s goal of developing a sustainable market economy in low Earth orbit.

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House Science Committee Members Request GAO Review of ISS National Lab

WASHINGTON, April 1, 2020 (House Science Committee PR) – Today,  Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) along with Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Chairwoman Kendra Horn (D-OK) and Ranking Member Brian Babin (R-TX) sent a letter to Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comptroller Gene Dodaro requesting a broad examination of the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space’s (CASIS) performance, management, and governance structure. CASIS is a non-profit organization that currently manages the International Space Station National Laboratory (ISSNL).

In the letter, the Committee leaders express longstanding concerns regarding CASIS’s use of the its ISSNL resource allocation, its internal governance structures, and its transparency and accountability to NASA and Congress, including those identified in a recently released Independent Review Team report.  

“The unique environment offered by the ISSNL is an invaluable resource to facilitate research and development,” said the Committee Chairs and Ranking Members in the letter. “Congress has sought to encourage commercial and cross-agency partnerships as one path to the full utilization of this resource, but CASIS’s organizational struggles appear to have undermined progress. As Congress addresses broader questions surrounding the ISS, its ongoing mission, and the future of NASA-supported research and development in low Earth orbit, it is imperative to ensure that an effective and accountable entity is in place to manage the full range of activities conducted through the ISSNL.”

A copy of the full letter can be found here.

CASIS Welcomes New NASA ISS National Lab Program Executive

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (CASIS PR) — NASA recently shared its response to the findings and recommendations from an Independent Review Team (IRT) commissioned to evaluate the operations of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory and its managing entity, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS). 

In its response to the IRT’s report, NASA laid out action items, including the identification of an ISS National Lab program executive at NASA Headquarters to serve as the primary liaison to CASIS.

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Findings & Recommendations on ISS National Laboratory

The International Space Station, backdropped by the blackness of space and the thin line of Earth’s atmosphere. (Credit: NASA)

International Space Station (ISS) Cooperative Agreement
Independent Review Team

Final Report to NASA
Delivered February 4, 2020

Full Report

Consolidated Findings and Recommendations

FINDINGS

Finding 1.1: The ISS National Laboratory (ISSNL) was created as a broad-based research facility, but NASA reduced ISS research in 2004-2005 to focus on human health and safety. Congress did not want to lose the broad research facility for activities in low Earth orbit (LEO) and the Space Life and Physical Sciences Research and Applications (SLPSRA) Division of Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) did not exist at the time of the original legislation. Consequently, there is now a NASA division tasked with enabling research activities that potentially overlap with the ISSNL. Both SLPSRA and Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) perceive that they often operate in competition with one another for crew time, critical on-orbit facilities and “credit” for research results.

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NASA Shares Findings, Recommendations, and Response to Review of International Space Station National Lab

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — An external team appointed by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has completed its review of the operations and management of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory, which the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) manages.

The Independent Review Team (IRT) delivered its report to the agency in February, and NASA is now publicly releasing the report in full as well as the agency’s response to its recommendations.

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