How NASA Plans to Drag Its Feet in Implementing the ISS National Laboratory

Partners wanted to run research lab in space, Nature

"Once a non-profit organization is established, NASA expects to begin research and development, but it will take a few years before the enterprise is running at full throttle, says Uhran."

According to PUBLIC LAW 111-267--OCT. 11, 2010 124 STAT. 2827 - SEC. 504. MANAGEMENT OF THE ISS NATIONAL LABORATORY - (d) RESEARCH CAPACITY ALLOCATION AND INTEGRATION OF RESEARCH PAYLOADS.

"(1) ALLOCATION OF ISS RESEARCH CAPACITY. As soon as practicable after the date of the enactment of this Act, but not later than October 1, 2011, ISS national laboratory managed experiments shall be guaranteed access to, and utilization of, not less than 50 percent of the United States research capacity allocation, including power, cold stowage, and requisite crew time onboard the ISS through September 30, 2020. Access to the ISS research capacity includes provision for the adequate upmass and downmass capabilities to utilize the ISS research capacity, as available. The Administrator may allocate additional capacity to the ISS national laboratory should such capacity be in excess of NASA research requirements."

Keith's note: At the ISS National Lab Public Day CAN meeting yesterday, Mark Uhran said that NASA hopes to award the contract to this non-profit organization in May 2011. That means that the new ISS National Lab organization has to hit the ground running and be meeting these requirements 5 months (or less) later. However, Uhran states in Nature that it is going to take "a few years" for everything to be "running at full throttle". Clearly NASA is nowhere near being able to carry out the provisions stated in Public Law 111-26 in terms of the required date - nor does it intend to, if Uhran's statements are to be accepted as being indicative of NASA's intent. With the halting of shuttle operations in mid-2011, it is also unclear how NASA will be able to meet all the downmass and upmass requirements by October 1, 2011.

NASA's ISS National Lab Concept: Flawed Plans - Closed Thinking, earlier post

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on December 13, 2010 7:25 AM.

Ralph Hall Prepares To Take Over House Science Committee was the previous entry in this blog.

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