Saturday, November 17, 2012

Space Station Research: Limited Time for ISS Crew

ISS Crew Struggling to Find Time to do Research

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 15-Nov-2012
Updated: 15-Nov-2012 11:48 AM
The International Space Station (ISS) is a research laboratory in space, but ISS crews continue to struggle to find time to do that research amidst spacewalks, spacecraft arrivals and departures, and other operational tasks.  At the same time, researchers need to know how long the ISS will be available -- only through 2020 or later. 

Those were two of the messages from ISS program manager Mike Suffredini and NASA's Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations Bill Gerstenmaier during a two-day meeting of the NASA Advisory Council's Human Exploration and Operations Committee.  Suffredini spoke yesterday.  Gerstenmaier briefed the committee this morning.

Gerstenmaier expanded on the research being conducted on ISS and the need for NASA to get the word out that it is "starting to become a productive research facility" and encourage researchers to publish their results.  In response to a question, he confirmed that NASA is offering free launches, free power and free crew time to researchers, something that apparently is not well known. He agreed with Suffredini, however, that crew time is a major concern. 

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