NASA OIG Report on ISS Research Released

NASA OIG: NASA's Efforts to Maximize Research on the International Space Station,

"The OIG found that although NASA has made progress towards maximizing the research capabilities of the ISS, opportunities exist for increased utilization. NASA uses three main data points to assess utilization of ISS research capabilities: average weekly crew time dedicated to research activities, number of investigations, and use of allocated space for research. While no one measure provides a complete picture of the utilization rate, NASA has generally increased the level of activity for each metric since completion of ISS assembly in 2011.

Further progress in maximizing Station research capabilities largely hinges on two factors: the ability of CASIS to attract sufficient interest and funding from private users and the availability of reliable transportation to and from the Station for crew and cargo."

"CASIS's task is particularly challenging given the historic lack of interest from private entities in conducting research aboard the ISS in the absence of government funding. Moreover, CASIS suffered a series of early organizational issues that may have affected its initial fundraising efforts. In addition, although the organization met most of its early performance metrics, these metrics were focused primarily on achieving organizational milestones rather than measuring how successful CASIS has been in encouraging research on the ISS.

CASIS's general goals for fiscal year 2013 -awarding research grants from funds raised through donations and approving more self-funded investigations - are positive first steps toward enhancing a market for non-NASA research aboard the ISS. However, the OIG found that neither CASIS nor NASA have developed specific, quantifiable metrics to measure CASIS's ability to meet these goals. Without more precise metrics that reflect the degree to which non-NASA research is conducted on the ISS, it will be difficult to determine if CASIS is achieving its goal of improving the return on investment in the ISS by increasing use of the national laboratory."

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This page contains a single entry by Marc Boucher published on July 8, 2013 2:04 PM.

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