Friday, February 25, 2011

ISS to be Run as "National Lab"

Expedition 26 commander Mark Kelly works on the Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) Multi-user Drop Combustion Apparatus (MDCA) in the Destiny laboratory of the International Space Station. Photo source: NASA.

Aviation Week reports that "NASA is moving to extend use of the orbiting laboratory to other federal agencies, academia and the private sector through a fast-paced competition to select a non-profit manager for oversight of the broad, cutting-edge research agenda envisioned by Congress under a National Laboratory designation."

NASA will furnish transportation for national lab experiments, primarily aboard the planned SpaceX Dragon and Orbital Sciences Corp.’s Cygnus commercial spacecraft, plus electricity, thermal control and about 1,000 hr. of astronaut time annually.

The ISS National Lab manager will be expected to ramp up quickly as the Dragon and Cygnus initiate the transportation services over the next 12-15 months ...

This page on NASA's ISS web site lists published results of experiments conducted on the Space Station.

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