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ISS News

NASA Deliberately Ignores Its Own ISS Research Publications

By Keith Cowing
May 8, 2015
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NASA Deliberately Ignores Its Own ISS Research Publications

NASA’s Physical Science Informatics Database Now Open to the Public, NASA
“At NASA, we are excited to announce the roll-out of the Physical Science Informatics (PSI) data repository for physical science experiments performed on the International Space Station (ISS). The PSI system is now accessible and open to the public. This will be a resource for researchers to data mine the PSI system and expand upon the valuable research performed on the ISS using it as a research tool to further science, while also fulfilling the President’s Open Data Policy.”
Public Release of NASA GeneLab Data System 1.0, NASA
“Based on the philosophy of open science, the GeneLab Platform will maximize the scientific return on investment and maximize the use of the International Space Station given the limited number of biological research opportunities in space. Open science will expand the number of researchers in the community, bringing new ideas and innovation to space biology research, while enabling discovery and advances for both NASA Exploration and Earth-based benefit.”
Keith’s note: Great news. As a one-time biologist at NASA I find this approach to posting data online to be one of the most important things NASA can do to show the value – and availability – of research done on the ISS. NASA has been generating research papers for more than half a century. One very useful resource is NASA Spaceline (latest issue) a regular (now weekly) NASA-funded summary of research sponsored by and relevant to NASA life science research. Given all of the hype and hoopla over the Kelly twins and the #YearInSpace research that is underway, you’d think that NASA would be promoting what it has done – and is doing – on ISS.
Guess again.

– No Mention of Spaceline at CASIS
– No Mention of Spaceline at NASA Space Station Homepage
– No Mention of Spaceline at International Space Station National Laboratory
-If you search you can’t find any mention of Spaceline either.
Clearly, NASA deliberately does not post Spaceline online for the rest of the world to see. If you know who to contact you (RErtwine – at – can get it by email but NASA makes no effort to alert people to this service. While NASA mostly ignores Spaceline we have an archive of all issues of Spaceline stretching all the way back to 1999 online on our webserver. NASA apparently doesn’t have any interest in making this voluminous reference to science accomplished on ISS and in related fields available – if for no other reason than to refute those who would say that nothing of value is conducted on the ISS.
Oddly as NASA and CASIS ignore things like Spaceline, they do like to jump up and down and tell you about all of the amazing research they want to do on the ISS to solve all of humanity’s problems. In recent budget briefings to Congress NASA mentions how they want to ramp up ISS utilization in the coming years. Of course this is a good idea since the potential of this amazing facility has yet to be tapped. Alas, given the way that NASA and CASIS handle the dissemination of research results such as Spaceline this will simply mean that more important and interesting research will continue to be ignored. Indeed, if NASA continues along this path, far fewer people will ever see the actual research papers generated from the Kelly twins research – and the research publications using data in GeneLab will similarly be ignored.

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