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CASIS Announces Upcoming Requests for Proposals in Materials Science and Earth Observational Science

Published on Monday, August 20, 2012

CASIS Announces Upcoming Requests for Proposals in Materials Science and Earth Observational Science

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL. (August 20, 2012) – The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the nonprofit organization promoting and managing research on board the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory, will soon announce two upcoming solicitations for ISS research proposals. Both solicitations will be made available for commercial, governmental, and academic researchers over the next month.

The two Requests for Proposals (RFPs) will be in the fields of Materials Science and Earth Observational Science. The RFPs will open various facilities onboard the ISS to research communities, offering an innovative, quick path for scientists to benefit from the Station’s on orbit capabilities. Both solicitations are aimed to return data as quickly as possible. In the case of the Earth Observational Science RFP, results will be in researchers’ hands as early as spring 2013.

CASIS will support both RFPs through grant funding, facilitation of service provider partnerships and flight coordination to and from the ISS, if required. The ISS National Lab supports a variety of platforms to exploit the space environment in the development and testing of new materials for both commercial and academic investigators. Through these solicitations, CASIS continues in its mission to promote the full utilization of the ISS.

The Materials Science RFP focuses on research that can be exposed to the extreme conditions of space in order to understand and make use of the physical and chemical properties influenced by microgravity, atomic oxygen, low pressure and/or vast temperature variations. Research could include the development and testing of new materials and coatings, as well as the applied development of sensor components and systems. This RFP will utilize the NanoRacks External Platform.

The Earth Observational Science RFP revolves around research — both fundamental and applied — using imaging and spectroscopic facilities already onboard the ISS to study the Earth’s atmosphere, surface, and oceans. This RFP solicits proposals from a variety of fields ranging from agricultural land use and urban planning, ocean dynamics and color, to lightning, cloud and pollution research.

These solicitations follow CASIS’ first announced RFP: “Advancing Protein Crystallization in Microgravity,” which is currently accepting submissions through August 22, 2012.

“Through these solicitations, CASIS is opening a new, quick-reaction avenue to do research aboard the ISS, opening the next generation of scientific advances in these fields,” said Deepak Agrawal, CASIS Director of Science and Technology.

“With the announcement of the Materials Science RFP, CASIS has opened an innovative opportunity for microgravity research to be conducted using the NanoRacks External Platform,” said Jim Royston, CASIS Interim Executive Director. “The Earth Observational Science RFP opens the door to both traditional and non-traditional investigators to utilize the ISS and undertake fast-reaction Earth observations for the benefit of humanity. CASIS is extremely excited about both RFPs and we look forward to them helping to fully utilize the ISS National Lab.”

For additional information about both RFPs, including instructions and resources regarding Materials Science and Earth Observational Science, continue to check the CASIS solicitations site: 

www.iss-casis.org/solicitations.

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About CASIS: The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space was selected by NASA in July 2011 to maximize use of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory. CASIS is dedicated to supporting and accelerating innovations that will enhance the health and wellbeing of people and our planet. The CASIS goal is to bring the magic of space down to earth. For more information, visit www.iss-casis.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 CASIS.

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