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Fri, Jul 15, 2011

NASA Selects Nonprofit To Manage Space Station National Lab Research

Center for The Advancement Of Science In Space Will Help Ensure Broad Access To Station Science

NASA has selected the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space Inc. (CASIS) to develop and manage the U.S. portion of the International Space Station that will be operated as a national laboratory. At the conclusion of successful negotiations, the independent, nonprofit research management organization will help ensure the station's unique capabilities are available to the broadest possible cross-section of the U.S. scientific, technological and industrial communities.

"The space station is the centerpiece of NASA's human spaceflight activities, and it is truly a national asset," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. "This agreement helps us ensure the station will be available for broad, meaningful and sustained use."

CASIS will be located at the Space Life Sciences Laboratory near NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The organization will increase station use to maximize the public's return on its investment by managing its diversified research and development portfolio based on needs for basic and applied research in a variety of fields. CASIS will identify opportunities for non-NASA uses linking scientific review and economic value, and will match potential research and development opportunities with funding sources. The organization also will increase awareness among schools and students about using the station as a learning platform.

NASA issued a cooperative agreement notice on Feb. 14 to seek a management partner for the portion of the station designated a national laboratory in 2005. The NASA Authorization Act of 2010, which extended station operations until at least 2020, also directed NASA to establish this organization. The cooperative agreement initially will have a value of up to $15 million per year.

FMI: www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/nlab/

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