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.

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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Startups Launch Innovative R&D on SpaceX CRS-20 to Improve Patient Care on Earth

Falcon 9 lifts off with the the cargo Dragon CRS-20 mission. (Credit: NASA webcast)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. March 6, 2020 (ISS National Lab PR)  – What if the next breakthrough to improve patient care on Earth came from research off of Earth—in space? Three biotechnology startups have launched research to the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory, tackling a broad range of patient care objectives—from next-generation diagnostic tools to drug discovery and improved devices for drug delivery.

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More Than 20 ISS National Lab-sponsored Payloads Set to Launch on SpaceX CRS-20

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), February 27, 2020 – When the Dragon spacecraft launches on SpaceX’s 20th commercial resupply services (CRS) mission (contracted through NASA) to the International Space Station (ISS), it will do so with dozens of research experiments to be executed on the orbiting laboratory over the coming months. In particular, the ISS U.S. National Laboratory is sponsoring more than 20 separate payloads on this mission that will leverage the unique space-based environment of station to benefit life on Earth.

Launching no earlier than 11:50 p.m. ET on Friday, March 6 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, this mission carries with it a wide variety of research investigations—several funded by private companies focused on technologies critical to their commercial success and others supported by external funds focused on science questions to improve knowledge and human health.

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NASA Astronaut Hague to Highlight ISS Research in Silicon Valley

NASA astronaut Nick Hague, Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and visiting astronaut from United Arab Emirates (UAE) Hazzaa Ali Almansoori returned to Earth from the International Space Station at 6:59 am in Kazakhstan. (Credits: NASA)

SAN JOSE, Calif. (NASA PR) — Astronaut Nick Hague, along with representatives from NASA and the U.S. International Space Station National Lab, will visit San Jose, Calif., February 25 – 28, to highlight research opportunities on board the International Space Station.

This nationwide campaign, known as “Destination Station,” is a joint effort to reach potential industry and commercial entities and share opportunities for microgravity research.

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ISS National Lab Supporting Life Science Payloads Launching on Cygnus Resupply Ship

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (ISS National Laboratory PR) – When Northrop Grumman’s 13th commercial resupply services (CRS) mission launches to the International Space Station (ISS), it will carry with it a multitude of research to benefit life on Earth.

Among the ISS U.S. National Laboratory-sponsored payloads on this mission are two investigations from leading academic institutions. Although both projects fall within the area of life sciences, the two are studying very different things—one is seeking solutions to a common health ailment and the other aims to improve bioproduction of a commercially important industrial chemical.

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Cygnus to Carry Multiple R&D Payloads Sponsored by the ISS National Lab

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), January 30, 2020 (ISS National Lab) – Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft will be packed with a wide variety of research investigations for its 13th commercial resupply services mission (contracted by NASA) to the International Space Station (ISS). The launch—which is slated for no earlier than Sunday, February 9 at 5:39 p.m. EST from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia—will carry a diverse set of research and technology development projects sponsored by the U.S. National Laboratory. This launch represents the first commercial resupply services mission to the ISS in 2020.

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