We hope you found the FY19 Annual Report engaging and informative. As we enter 2020, we near the humbling landmark of 20 years of continuous human presence in space. Much of these 20 years are characterized by impressive growth in the capabilities of the ISS as an orbiting platform for R&D that helps us understand our home planet and prepare for humans to venture further into space. R&D sponsored by the ISS National Lab is a growing and impactful contributor to the legacy of the ISS and its value for knowledge advancement and innovation, as noted in NASA’s third edition of the “International Space Station Benefits for Humanity,” a compendium of ISS R&D success stories released this year that highlighted 30 success stories from ISS National Lab projects (read more at www.issnationallab.org/blog/international-space-station-benefits-for-humanity-publication-released-today). We look forward to continuing to build a strong foundation of knowledge and technology tools to enable the success of future researchers over the next 20 years and beyond.
In FY20, we will continue development of a program-based research infrastructure for the areas of Industrialized Biomedicine and Advanced Materials and Manufacturing, as discussed in Section V, and we hope to ultimately build a nationwide network that includes Centers of Excellence for Microgravity and Space-Based R&D. We are confident this network will amplify our upward trends in performance metrics by empowering diverse thought leaders and institutions to raise awareness about and promote utilization of the ISS National Lab for R&D with tangible benefit to quality of life on Earth. We will also continue to improve how we serve our partners and researchers, decreasing cycle time from project proposal to selection, relying on data-based decision-making through use and validation of our project assessment methodology, and optimizing utilization via RUPS (see Section III and www.issnationallab.org/ar2018/accelerating-access for more information).
The success of the ISS National Lab parallels exciting developments in the space industry, particularly with respect to commercial activities in LEO. Soon we will have commercial launch vehicles delivering crew members to the ISS from U.S. soil for the first time since the retirement of the Space Shuttle Program in July 2011. We know that the transition to this new commercial crew program will provide additional research time and broader opportunities for discovery for investigators using the ISS National Lab—but we also know the road to success of the program may require delays and adjustments for ultimate success, particularly with respect to FY20 utilization and other supply chain logistics. We are prepared to adjust accordingly and support our partners, investigators, and colleagues in the space community to the best of our ability, embracing our Core Values:
- Passion for the Mission – We are inspired and driven by the ISS and the incredible opportunity ahead of us. We understand and are humbled by what others have sacrificed to build the ISS. We embrace the role that the ISS National Lab plays in shaping the future of space research by maximizing the impact of this incredible laboratory.
- Customer Focus – We are committed to our customers and understand that each and every one of us contributes to the user experience. As the conduits to the space station, we aim to do everything in our power to improve the customer journey and focus on our customer’s objectives.
- Teamwork – We believe in the power of inclusion, that there is greater strength in working together to solve complex problems. We collaborate and build networks, harnessing the best ideas from inside and outside the organization. We treat our coworkers, partners, customers, and vendors with respect and appreciation.
- Professionalism – We convey professionalism in all that we do. We communicate openly and transparently and use appropriate channels. We recognize that each employee is an ambassador of the ISS National Lab and contributor to the ISS brand.
- Stewardship – We recognize the great responsibility that we have to maximize the use of the ISS to benefit life on Earth. We demonstrate good stewardship of our resources and put the mission above all else when making business decisions. We are accountable for our actions and expect our users, partners, and vendors to share in these values.
- Commitment to Excellence – We take pride in our work and aspire to be the best we can be. We adhere to the highest standards of our professions and adopt best practices. We embrace new ideas and explore innovative ways of working.
Thank you for your interest in the ISS National Lab and its FY19 progress and accomplishments. We look forward to the year ahead and our continued commitment to foster scientific discovery and technological innovation in space, expand U.S. leadership in commercial space, and inspire the next generation.
Chief Operating Officer