"U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), ranking member of the Science and Space Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee, released the following statement today regarding a NASA report outlining the steps toward implementing the congressionally-mandated designation of the U.S. portion of the International Space Station (ISS) as a National Laboratory: "I am very pleased with the work NASA has completed in preparing this report and implementation plan for operating the International Space Station as a National Laboratory," Sen. Hutchison said. "We now have a firm foundation on which to plan for the full and complete use of the space station as it was always intended."
"NASA prepared this report outlining a plan for the International Space Station National Laboratory in response to direction in Section 507 of the NASA Authorization Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-155). The specific requirements of this plan are outlined below."
Editor's Note: What a fascinating concept: Congress designates the ISS as a National Laboratory - while, at the same time, NASA cuts virtually all funding for all ISS science research. What good is a National Laboratory with no research to do? Or are we making this designation for the benefit of the other nations who still fund their ISS research?
2004 Statement prepared by NASA's Office of Biological and Physical Research regarding postponement of NASA's acquisition to establish this Institute.
David K. Beck, Procurement Analyst, NASA Code HS, Washington, DC 20546-0001, voice (202) 358-0482, fax (202) 358-4065
On January 14, 2004, the President of the United States announced a new vision for the Nation's space exploration program -- a vision that gives NASA a new focus and clear objectives. As a part of this vision, the President has directed that U.S. research on the International Space Station (ISS) be focused on supporting space exploration goals, with an emphasis on understanding how the space environment affects astronaut health and the development of countermeasures and exploration capabilities.
The National Research Council also recently released a summary report of a November 2003 workshop on "Issues and Opportunities Regarding the U.S. Space Program." Their recommendations align closely to the new vision, also specifically calling for an exploration research agenda for the ISS.
Given a highly focused research agenda for the ISS, NASA has reassessed its original need and plan for an International Space Station Research Institute (ISSRI). The original plans had called for establishing an ISSRI with the primary objective of providing U.S. research leadership for a diverse U.S. community performing a broad range of research on the ISS. With a focused research agenda for the ISS, the scope of and need for an ISSRI will be reevaluated.
NASA will delay the procurement of the ISSRI for at least one year while it reconsiders the establishment of such an entity. NASA will either modify the ISSRI procurement or terminate the procurement efforts based on this consideration.