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CASIS Announces Grant Awards for Materials Science

Published on Thursday, March 21, 2013

CASIS Announces Grant Awards for Materials Science

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL. (March 21, 2013) – The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the nonprofit organization promoting and managing research onboard the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory, today announced grant awards totaling $400,000 for two projects from its recent Request for Proposals (RFP) titled “Materials Testing in the Extreme Environment of Space.”

The RFP sought to identify projects within the field of materials science that could make use of the physical and chemical properties influenced by microgravity, atomic oxygen, low pressure and/or vast temperature variations. The selected experiments will use the NanoRacks External Platform, which allows exposure to the extreme conditions of space for development and testing of new materials, components and systems.

Grant awardees include:

  • Kathleen Morse, Ph.D., from Advanced Materials Applications, LLC, who will focus on using the Gumstix™ Computer On Module in ground and space-based radiation studies to examine fault-tolerant computers to meet the intensive demands of current and next generation satellites and space missions.
  • W. Jud Ready, Ph.D., from the Georgia Institute of Technology, who will focus on further developing cost-effective, energy-efficient photovoltaic cells made of lightweight carbon nanotubes. Past work, which began in 2011, successfully demonstrated an increased efficiency in capturing photons and creating energy. The technology is expected to be in commercially available products in fall 2013.

Final award of grant money is contingent upon the acceptance of legal terms and conditions between recipients and CASIS.

“The involvement of CASIS in the External Platform Program has opened the door to commercial utilization of the space environment far faster than previously possible,” said NanoRacks Managing Director Jeff Manber. “We are delighted to partner with CASIS in this new era of utilization on the International Space Station.”

“Today’s announcement further demonstrates the ability of CASIS to fund research to utilize the ISS National Lab,” said CASIS Interim Executive Director Jim Royston. “CASIS is excited about the ability to take advantage of the NanoRacks External Platform and fund opportunities to not only utilize the inside of the station but also promote experiments conducted outside in the extreme environment of space.”

For additional information about CASIS opportunities, including instructions on submitting a proposal, 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 (CASIS) was selected by NASA in July 2011 to maximize use of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory through 2020. CASIS is dedicated to supporting and accelerating innovations and new discoveries 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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