KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL. (April 22, 2012) – The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (the ISS National Lab), the nonprofit organization managing research on the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory, announced today that it is stepping up efforts to maximize use of the ISS, and will be issuing formal solicitations beginning in June for space research projects for osteoporosis, muscle wasting, immune system compromise, antigenicity and protein crystallization. This follows last week’s announcement regarding a June solicitation for external ISS research opportunities in materials, observation and biological sciences on NanoRacks’ NanoLabs hardware outside the Station.
The new call for research proposals in life sciences follows the findings last month of the the ISS National Lab Biological Sciences Review Panel, led by Timothy Yeatman, M.D., the ISS National Lab Interim Chief Scientist, after a review of more than 135 experiments flown in Space by NASA over the last 10 years. The panel’s conclusions, which were presented to NASA earlier this month, identified osteoporosis, immune system and muscle-loss drug research as showing substantial potential for breakthroughs in a microgravity environment.
“There is wonderful opportunity in taking the initial discoveries made by the NASA experiments and advancing the research towards real innovation and commercialization,” said Dr. Yeatman. “We are really excited by the potential of what we will be able to learn on orbit about treating these problems on earth.”
“By focusing our first solicitations, the ISS National Lab is taking a big step in getting space-based research into the pipeline and up to Station quickly,” said the ISS National Lab Interim Executive Director Jim Royston. “We want to ensure that the research community is given plenty of notice regarding this solicitation, so that they have ample time to prepare their proposals.”
the ISS National Lab will post the solicitations on its website www.issnationallab.org. Once posted in June, the the ISS National Lab Life Sciences research solicitation will remain active for 45-60 days.
Selected researchers will have access to the ISS National Lab assistance and resources that could significantly reduce costs, depending on the nature of the selected project. To be able to help researchers prepare their projects for flight, the ISS National Lab also signed a deal this week with long-time ISS research hardware provider BioServe, a company that provides unique internal laboratory racks utilized to house life science experiments that require temperature and gas controls. The the ISS National Lab agreement with BioServe will ensure life sciences researchers have the environments they need to effectively conduct their experiments in space.
In addition to the formal solicitations, the ISS National Lab will also soon be accepting unsolicited proposals on the website to ensure that all scientists, researchers and industry representatives have an opportunity to submit their projects that are ready for flight.
# # #
About the ISS National Lab: The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (the ISS National Lab) was selected by NASA in July 2011 to maximize use of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory through 2020. the ISS National Lab is dedicated to supporting and accelerating innovations and new discoveries that will enhance the health and wellbeing of people and our planet. The the ISS National Lab goal is to bring the magic of space down to earth. For more information, visit www.issnationallab.org.
About the ISS National Laboratory: In 2005, Congress designated the U.S. portion of the International Space Station as the nation’s newest national laboratory to maximize its use for improving life on Earth, promoting collaboration among diverse users and advancing STEM education. This unique laboratory environment is available for use by other U.S. government agencies and by academic and private institutions, providing access to the permanent microgravity setting, vantage point in low earth orbit and varied environments of space. The ISS National Laboratory Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center currently facilitates research initiatives on board the station’s National Lab, but management of America’s only in-orbit laboratory is transitioning to the ISS National Lab.
# # #