January 22, 2004
International Space Station Research Institute On Hold
NASA's plan to establish an International Space Station Research Institute (ISSRI) has been postponed. A draft Statement of Work was released in Sept. 5, 2003, and a draft Request for Proposal was scheduled for release in winter 2004.
The decision was made following the President's Jan. 14 announcement of a new vision for NASA's space exploration program. A feature of the new plan is a re-focused research effort on the International Space Station to better understand and overcome the effects of human space flight on astronaut health, increasing the safety of future space missions. NASA will implement, as its priority for the International Space Station, research that specifically enables this human exploration vision.
"Given a highly focused research agenda for the Station, NASA has reassessed its plan for an International Space Station Research Institute, and determined that the scope of and need for an ISSRI needs to be reevaluated," said Mary Kicza, NASA's Associate Administrator, Office of Biological and Physical Research.
NASA will delay the procurement of the ISSRI for at least one year while the agency reconsiders establishing a new institute and potentially updating its plan. The agency may also choose to terminate the ISSRI procurement efforts.
NASA had planned to contract a non-government organization to establish an institute to manage Space Station research. The objective of the planned institute was to promote research planning, coordination, and advocacy for maximum use of the Station by U.S. science, technology and commercial communities.
"This delay will give us the opportunity to determine the best approach to achieving the more focused research agenda for the Space Station, and to decide the extent to which it makes sense to procure an International Space Station Research Institute to further that agenda, " Kicza said.
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