NASA's Slow Motion Reluctance To Truly Open Up The ISS

Keith's note: NASA held a ISS National Lab Public Day CAN meeting on 10 December 2010. The purpose was to explain the pending Cooperative Agreement Notice and how interested parties should structure their proposals. The main speaker was NASA's Mark Uhran, Assistant Associate Administrator for ISS at NASA SOMD.
At one point Uhran bragged that he had "written 5 papers" on discoveries that had been made on the ISS, but he said that he was not going to tell anyone where to find them - thus challenging the attendees to go dig these papers up themselves. That is certainly an odd stance for a NASA official to take - especially one who is charged with promoting the value of the ISS as a platform for scientific research.

NASA Supplemental Information: Competitive Acquisition of Cooperative Agreement for ISS National Laboratory Management Entity

"One such search led to identification of five specific phenomenological findings of noteworthy significance, along with bibliographic references in peer-reviewed journals. This search has been documented in a review paper scheduled for presentation on January 4, 2011 at the 49th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 25th Symposium on Gravity-Related Phenomena in Space Exploration (GPSE). The paper is titled, "Positioning the International Space Station for the Era of Utilization", and the author is Mark Uhran, Assistant Associate Administrator for the ISS Program. Consistent with established policy, AIAA requests that the author not distribute the paper prior to presentation. Nonetheless, since this is a work of the U.S. government it can be distributed for governmental purposes. Therefore, the paper will be made available in the procurement library following public presentation. Entities interested in competing for this cooperative agreement are encouraged to conduct their own reviews of the open literature and summarize conclusions in their respective proposals."

Keith's note: Uhran's paper is now online: Positioning the International Space Station for the Utilization Era at the NSPIRES website. Yet there is no mention of this paper on the official ISS National Lab homepage. Is Mark Uhran going to post the other "five papers" he mentioned? Or is there only one paper with five discoveries? Once again, wouldn't you think that NASA would bend over backwards and provide every possible resource available to prospective ISS National Lab bidders - and the public as well - instead of dangling references in front of them and then people to go dig them up?

The ISS is an amazing facility - "The Undiscovered Country" - with heretofore untapped potential - potential that could exceed NASA's standard and boring PR. Why withhold this information? NASA should be showering people with results and seeking creative, out-of-the-box ideas in response - not playing hard-to-get. Then again, there are those worn-out Powerpoint slides and papers that barely change from year to year. Maybe the proposers are better off without them.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on January 9, 2011 10:35 AM.

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