"NASA administrator Michael Griffin has told space station partners that the US agency has no plans for "utilisation and exploitation" of the science research lab for more than five years after it is completed, [European Space Agency (ESA) chief Jean-Jacques] Dordain said. "ESA is not prepared to pay NASA's share when NASA has left the space station," Dordain told reporters Tuesday night on the sidelines of the space summit. "If NASA is staying, we are ready to follow," he added. "If NASA is quitting, I shall not propose to ESA to pay part of the cost that NASA is covering today."'
ISS News: September 2007 Archives
Spaceflight shown to alter ability of bacteria to cause disease, Arizona State University
"Space flight has been shown to have a profound impact on human physiology as the body adapts to zero gravity environments. Now, a new study led by researchers from the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University has shown that the tiniest passengers flown in space--microbes--can be equally affected by space flight, making them more infectious pathogens."
Editor's 14 Sep note: It has been more than 48 hours and it would seem that ARC PAO is utterly uninterested in updated its events page or home page to reflect this upcoming conference. However, someone did send me an invitation after I made this posting. Update several hours later: they finally put a link up. Wow, this website stuff is so hard to do.
"On Tuesday, October 2, 2007 from 7-9 p.m., the NASA Research Park Exploration Lecture Series will present a lecture and panel discussion featuring Dr. Baruch S. Blumberg, Nobel Laureate; Thomas B. Pickens III, CEO, SPACEHAB; & Dr. Cheryl Nickerson, Assoc. Professor Life Sciences at Arizona State Univ. ..."
Editor's 12 Sep note: Wow. Barry Blumberg - a Nobel Prize winner - and former NASA Astrobiology Institute Director - is speaking about the science value of the International Space Station at Ames. What a perfect heavy hitter to roll out just as the NIH/NASA MOU is signed. Alas, who knew he was even speaking? I only found out about this because I am on some upcoming lecture mailing list. Nothing is mentioned on the ARC events page and nothing is to be found on the main ISS page. NASA has all these great opportunities to enhance the value and relevance of what it does and yet it seems to fumble nearly every one of them.
But wait - there's more. According to the Alliance of Commercial Enterprises and Education for Space there is an ISS National Laboratory Workshop at NASA Ames from 2-4 October 2007. That's in less than 3 weeks folks. Speakers include Baruch Blumberg, William Gerstenmaier, Jeff Bingham, etc. etc. Does NASA ARC - or NASA HQ or SOMD - tell anyone about this? No. No links. No media advisories or press releases. Nothing. I guess they were going to wait until the last minute after airfares had gone up for all of us non-government folks - the same audience that they are trying to court to use the ISS. Go figure. Will someone please tell me where the "strategic communications" is?
"A Sept. 12 signing of a memorandum of understanding marked a key milestone for NASA and the National Institutes of Health in their long partnership to advance scientific discovery. The two agencies entered into an agreement that helps American scientists use the International Space Station to answer questions about human health and diseases. The pact signals to researchers the availability of a remarkable platform on which to conduct experiments."
NASA Cuts Funds for Private Space Venture, Wall Street Journal
"U.S. space officials, after several attempts to help resuscitate a private space venture led by closely held Rocketplane Kistler Inc., have issued a default letter effectively cutting off future federal assistance for the proposed $1 billion reusable rocket project, industry officials said."
RpK's COTS Contract Terminated, Aerospace Daily & Defense Report
"NASA has informed Congress it is terminating its Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) agreement with Rocketplane Kistler (RpK) because the company has failed to meet financial milestones. Aides said that after reviewing the company's performance, the space agency sent RpK formal notification Sept. 7 saying that additional activity under the agreement is "not in the best interest" of NASA."
"The agency chief said that in 2016-25, after the ISS is put out of operation, Russia plans to deploy a platform in a low-earth orbit to assemble spacecraft. The United States has said the station should be scrapped in 2015, while Russia has proposed using the Russian segment until 2020. Perminov said: "The ISS will be transformed into a laboratory complex where research will be conducted."
Editor's note: Let's see: NASA spends 1984-1998 designing and then building the ISS; 1998-2010 deploying and completing it (that's 26 years) and then only 5-6 years using it in its completed configuration? Sadly, this is more than just bad translation and Russian arm waving. And NASA wonders why some in Congress question NASA's current plan to implement the VSE?