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Commercialization

Congressional Doubts About The Value of CASIS (Update)

By Keith Cowing
March 22, 2012
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Hearing Notes: Charles Bolden Testifies on NASA’s FY 2013 Budget
“When asked about CASIS, the non-profit organization chartered to manage the U.S International Laboratory on the ISS, Bolden did not know what the history behind CASIS was (how or why it was formed), did not know how many people worked there, and would not give a grade for its performance thus far. When Rep. Wolf noted that the Director of CASIS had quit recently and that this was like “the captain leaving the ship” Bolden said “they’re just getting started”. Rep. Wolf suggested that NASA needs to look at CASIS carefully saying “if they are not with it in 30-45 days we should pull it and give it to NSF”. Bolden replied that a letter was being sent to CASIS to remind them of their milestones and “if they they do not meet milestones we will find another way”.”
CASIS Reviews NASA Experiments for Commercialization Potential, CASIS
“The panel, led by Timothy Yeatman, a veteran surgeon, scientist and pioneer in the fields of genomics and personalized medicine, is the first of its kind. The effort marks the first high-level international scientific review of NASA experiments with the aim of maximizing use of the station and unlocking the value of America’s investment in the $100 billion orbiting platform.”
Keith’s note: This statement by CASIS is simply untrue or, at best, grossly over-hyped. NASA has been convening review and oversight panels for this purpose for decades. I know because I used to help organize some of these panels and have attended innumerable others set up by NASA, NIH, NAS/NRC, and others. That said, the previous panels have not done very much of lasting signifigance since no one outside of a small subset of NASA really understands what the ISS can do – or has done. So maybe this new CASIS panel will be different. Given the weak and incomplete infrastructure in place at CASIS I would not hold high expectations for the output this first panel. Also, given that Rep. Wolf and House Appropriators have put CASIS on notice to get “with it” in the next 30-45 days the folks at CASIS who are “just getting starting” (according to Charlie Bolden) need to get this done properly – right out of the gate. The clock is now ticking.
Previous CASIS postings

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.