NASA Seeks Nonprofit To Manage Space Station National Lab Research

WASHINGTON -- As the International Space Station transitions from its assembly phase to full utilization as a unique scientific outpost, NASA is investing in the station's future use by ensuring a wide pool of organizations outside the agency have access to the orbiting lab.

NASA is seeking an independent, nonprofit research management organization to develop and manage the U.S. portion of the station, which was designated a national laboratory in 2005.

The NASA Authorization Act of 2010, in addition to extending station
operations until at least 2020, also directed NASA to establish this
organization to manage station research by other U.S. government
agencies, academic institutions and private firms.

The organization will stimulate uses of the station as a national
laboratory and maximize the U.S. investment in this initiative. The
selected organization will capitalize on the unique venue of the
orbiting laboratory as a national resource; and develop and manage a
diversified research and development portfolio based on U.S. needs
for basic and applied research in a variety of fields.

"NASA recognizes the station is an extraordinary asset for the
nation," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. "Scientific research
and development and education are critical to our national growth and
prosperity as a high technology society. The station offers
exceptional opportunities to contribute to this growth. By taking
this action, we are ensuring the station is available for broad,
meaningful and sustained use."

The NASA Authorization Act for 2010 established eligibility criteria
regarding the selected recipient of this planned cooperative
agreement. The organization must be "exempt from taxation under
section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986" and must not
have "any other organizational objective or responsibilities on
behalf of the organization or any parent organization or other entity."

NASA will host a public forum for organizations that want to learn
more about the cooperative agreement from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST on
Friday, Dec. 10, in the James Webb Auditorium at NASA Headquarters in

The forum will allow NASA to describe its vision and objectives for
the national lab. The event also will help promote competition on the
National Laboratory Management Organization Cooperative Agreement
Notice. Managers of national laboratory initiatives and
representatives from NASA's Procurement Office will be available to
answer questions.

Organizations and members of the media interested in registering for
the forum should send an e-mail to
jsc-iss-payloads-helpline@mail.nasa.gov by 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3.
Only registered parties may attend; no walk-ins will be permitted.

The registration e-mail must include:
- Subject line: "ISS National Lab Public Day Registration"
- Point-of-contact's name, telephone number and organization
- Names of all attendees from the organization

The draft cooperative agreement is due for release by Dec. 10. It will
be available on the national laboratory website and the NASA Research
Opportunities site at:


For Twitter updates about the cooperative agreement notice and the
forum, visit:


Source: NASA

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