“Mighty Mice” in Space Could Lead to New Therapies for Muscle and Bone Loss on Earth

Study mice (Credit: The Jackson Laboratory)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), September 10, 2020  (CASIS PR) – Findings from the “Mighty Mice” investigation on the International Space Station (ISS) may help “save the day” both for earthbound patients with muscle and bone loss as well as astronauts on prolonged spaceflight missions.

This week, researchers from The Jackson Laboratory, UConn Health, and Connecticut Children’s published an article in the journal  PNAS detailing results from their rodent research investigation sponsored by the ISS U.S. National Laboratory.

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NASA Names Robyn Gatens Acting Director for International Space Station

Robyn Gatens (Credits: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Kathy Lueders, NASA’s associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, has named Robyn Gatens as acting director of the International Space Station at NASA Headquarters. The appointment was effective Aug. 25. Sam Scimemi, the former director, has assumed new responsibilities as a special assistant for the agency’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.

“Robyn has demonstrated her leadership and strategic vision for the International Space Station and our efforts to enable a robust low-Earth orbit economy, and I am confident she will continue to do so as acting director,” said Lueders.

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NASA Administrator to Open Space Station Research and Development Conference

Jim Bridenstine (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine is set to open the ninth annual International Space Station Research and Development Conference (ISSRDC) at 10 a.m. EDT Thursday, Aug. 27, as the microgravity laboratory celebrates the 20th anniversary of continuous human presence in space.

The theme of this year’s conference is “From Vision to Discovery,” focusing on how the past can better inform the future. The virtual conference will take place over three separate days starting Thursday, Aug. 27, and continuing Thursday, Sept. 17, with the final session on Thursday, Oct. 22.

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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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Genes in Space Selects Winning Student Experiment to Fly on International Space Station

Genes in Space 2020 winner Kristoff Misquitta (Credit: Genes in Space)

BOSTON, Aug. 6, 2020 (Genes in Space PR — Student Kristoff Misquitta (17) has won the sixth annual Genes in Space competition. Misquitta, who attends Stuyvesant High School in New York, NY, proposed to study drug metabolism on the International Space Station (ISS). His experiment will be performed by astronauts aboard the ISS next year.

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Work Begins on Delta Faucet’s Droplet Formation Space Station Experiment This Week

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla, July 30, 2020 (CASIS PR)  – On a cold winter day more than four years ago, representatives from the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory and NASA descended upon Indianapolis for a Desintation Station outreach event, hoping to convince a nontraditional partner that research and technology development onboard the ISS could improve their consumer products here on Earth.

Joining the NASA and ISS National Lab representatives at Destination Station that day was NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy—a veteran of multiple space missions, including a six-month stay on the ISS. As part of this outreach opportunity, Cassidy outlined his experiences living and working onboard the ISS and discussed how best to configure experiments for the novel environment of the orbiting laboratory.

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Space Tango Welcomes Director of Strategic Engagement and External Affairs

LEXINGTON, Ky., April 30, 2020 (Space Tango PR) — Space Tango today announced the hiring of Cindy Martin-Brennan as the Director of Strategic Engagement and External Affairs. Martin-Brennan is a leader in government relations and stakeholder communications with 35 years of professional experience in the aerospace industry.

Martin-Brennan will lead stakeholder engagement and strategic communications, including the provision of high-quality and responsive information for Space Tango partners. She will also develop and implement collaborative stakeholder engagement plans from strategic, tactical, and operational perspectives. In addition, Martin-Brennan will advise the alignment of programs and initiatives to ensure the execution of the Space Tango vision.

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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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NASA Tries to Fix the Screwed up ISS National Laboratory Research Program

Editor’s Note: NASA Associate Administrator Douglas Loverro unveiled the following news on Monday during a members-only AIAA webinar in which media participation was apparently limited by that private organization. (As near as I can tell, I did not receive an invite.) The news was not officially announced until Wednesday.

This is a bad way to announce such a major change, especially considering the importance of the space station and problems NASA has experienced with CASIS and the ISS National Laboratory. The approach undermines the openness under which NASA has traditionally operated. I sincerely hope this type of event is not repeated.

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA is committed to effective management of the International Space Station as a resource for the American people through the International Space Station National Laboratory (ISSNL). The ISSNL returns benefits to Earth and to the nation by supporting important research and development, science, and education and outreach projects, and particularly by enabling research projects that can lead to new commercial space applications in support of the agency’s overall strategy to enable a robust low-Earth orbit economy.

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LambdaVision Wins NASA Award to Further Development of Artificial Retina to Help Patients Regain Sight

FARMINGTON, Conn. (LambdaVision PR)–LambdaVision, an innovative biotech developing a novel treatment to help patients regain sight, along with implementation partner, Space Tango, has been selected by NASA for an award of five million dollars.

This new funding will support LambdaVision’s development of the first protein-based artificial retina to restore meaningful vision for patients who are blind or have lost significant sight due to advanced retinitis pigmentosa (RP), with follow-on applications in age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness for adults over 55 years old.

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NASA Selects Proposals for In-Space Development of Optical Fibers, Stem Cells and More

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Removing the force of gravity from development processes can lead to products that are higher quality, have fewer defects, and are more effective than when developed on Earth. Companies are demonstrating these improved results can be achieved in the unique microgravity environment on the International Space Station (ISS), which orbits about 250 miles above the planet.

The research opportunities that have demonstrated the unique market value of in-space manufacturing, technology advancement and drug development have come through NASA’s investment in dedicating transportation and research time for ISS National Lab investigations.

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ISS National Lab Issues RFP to Leverage External Facility for Materials Science and Device Testing

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), April 7, 2020 – The International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory has announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) in the fields of materials science, device testing, and other research and development areas that require external space exposure. 

Investigators are encouraged to propose flight concepts that will leverage the Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE) Flight Facility from Alpha Space Test and Research Alliance, an in-orbit platform deployed externally onboard the ISS. Proposals will be accepted through 5:00 p.m. EDT on May 22, 2020.

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CASIS Responds to Report on Management of ISS National Laboratory

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (CASIS PR) — The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), manager of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory, appreciates the efforts of NASA’s Independent Review Team (IRT) in assessing the mission and resources of the national laboratory on the ISS. Now that the IRT study is complete, we look forward to working with NASA and our partners to increase use of the ISS for research breakthroughs that improve lives on Earth and to establish the foundations of a robust market economy in low Earth orbit.

“With the goal of full utilization of ISS resources achieved, CASIS also recognizes that realizing the return on investment that the American people have made in the ISS requires important changes in the model of the ISS National Lab, and in its relationship with NASA,” said Co-chair of the CASIS Board of Directors Dr. Andrei Ruckenstein. “We embrace the recommendations of the IRT report, many of which are fully aligned with our strategic plan and changes we have already begun implementing with our NASA colleagues. We are committed to working with NASA, other non-governmental organizations, implementation partners, and the broader user community toward maximizing access to the ISS for diverse users, accelerating sustainable commercial development of space and inspiring a next-generation of innovators and leaders.”

The CASIS board, management, and staff are excited about the future of the ISS National Lab and are honored to work with each of our partners to expand U.S. leadership in commercial space, foster scientific discovery and technological innovation, and inspire the next generation of leaders and explorers.