WASHINGTON – NASA has finalized a cooperative agreement with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) to manage the portion of the International Space Station that operates as a U.S. national laboratory.
CASIS will be located in the Space Life Sciences Laboratory at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The independent, nonprofit research management organization will help ensure the station’s unique capabilities are available to the broadest possible cross-section of U.S. scientific, technological and industrial communities.
“The station is the centerpiece of our human spaceflight activities for the coming years,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. “This cooperative agreement allows us to expand the station’s use and achieve its fullest potential so we can reach destinations farther in the solar system and improve life on Earth. CASIS will help NASA make the station available to a diverse national market that will use this unprecedented resource in innovative ways.”
CASIS will develop and manage a varied research and development portfolio based on U.S. national needs for basic and applied research; establish a marketplace to facilitate matching research pathways with qualified funding sources; and stimulate interest in using the national lab for research and technology demonstrations and as a platform for science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. The goal is to support, promote and accelerate innovations and new discoveries in science, engineering and technology that will improve life on Earth.
NASA issued a cooperative agreement notice on Feb. 14 to seek a management partner for the portion of the station that was designated a national laboratory in 2005. The NASA Authorization Act of 2010, which extended station operations until at least 2020, also directed the agency to establish this organization. NASA began negotiations with CASIS on July 13. The cooperative agreement initially will have a value of up to $15 million per year.
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