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Findings & Recommendations on ISS National Laboratory

7 Apr 2020, 11:22 UTC
Findings & Recommendations on ISS National Laboratory
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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 AgreementIndependent Review Team

Final Report to NASA Delivered February 4, 2020

Full Report

Consolidated Findings and Recommendations


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.

Finding 1.2: ISSNL was created at a specific time for a specific purpose to address potential shortfalls in ISS utilization. This problem no longer exists; the ISSNL has a robust portfolio of ...

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