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Dolores Beasley
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1753)

Tracy Young
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
(Phone: 321/867-2468)

November 19, 2003
RELEASE : 03-373
NASA's Gateway To Space For Life Science Research Dedicated Today
The Space Life Sciences (SLS) Laboratory was dedicated today in a ceremony hosted by NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and the state of Florida.

The 100,000 square-foot facility houses labs for NASA's ongoing research efforts, microbiology/microbial ecology studies and analytical chemistry labs. Facilities for space flight-experiment and flight-hardware development, new plant growth chambers, and an Orbiter Environment Simulator that will be used to conduct ground control experiments in simulated flight conditions for space flight experiments also call the new lab home.

Lt. Governor Toni Jennings said, "Today we celebrate the dedication of the new Space Life Sciences Lab and a new era in education and economic partnership. This new facility will greatly benefit Florida's university community." Jennings is chair of the Florida Space Authority's Board of Supervisors. Invited guests included dignitaries, government representatives and partners.

"The SLS Lab provides NASA's gateway to space with operations and research capability to effectively use the International Space Station and take full advantage of research and commercialization opportunities," said KSC Director Jim Kennedy. "It provides a meeting place for our partners in research to work together. We anticipate researchers from around the world performing investigations in the SLS Lab, addressing key issues in biological sciences, enabling improved life on earth and long duration space flight," he said.

The facility, completed in August of this year, represents a partnership between NASA and the state of Florida. The state, through Florida Space Authority, built the research laboratory. The facility is part of a $30 million project that also includes Space Commerce Way, the new public roadway providing 24-hour access to International Space Research Park.

The Florida Space Authority Director, Captain Winston Scott, said, "This new facility represents a new way of doing business to advance the 'state of Space.' The only way we'll continue to do that in the future is through partnerships of this kind."

Kennedy Space Center, in partnership with Florida Space Authority, is developing the International Space Research Park at KSC. The SLS Lab, formerly known as the Space Experiment Research and Processing Laboratory or SERPL, provides space for NASA's Life Sciences Services contractor Dynamac Corporation, Bionetics Corporation, and researchers from the University of Florida. NASA's Office of Biological and Physical Research will use the facility for processing life sciences experiments that will be conducted on the International Space Station. The SLS Lab is the magnet facility for the Research Park.

Space Commerce Way also connects NASA Causeway and Kennedy Parkway to provide a throughway to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center and the Astronaut Hall of Fame.

For more information on space research, visit:


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