International Partners Discuss Space Station Extension And Use
The International Space Station partner agencies met Tuesday, Sept. 21, by videoconference to discuss continuation of space station operations into the next decade and its use as a research laboratory. The Multilateral Coordination Board (MCB) meeting included senior representatives from NASA, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the European Space Agency (ESA), the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), and the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). The MCB meets periodically to ensure coordination of station operations and activities among the partners.

The MCB was pleased to learn that the government of Japan has approved continuing space station operations beyond 2016. Coupled with the approval of the government of the Russian Federation for continuation to 2020, this progress is indicative of the strength of the station partnership and the successful use of station. ESA and CSA are working with their respective governments to reach consensus about the continuation of the station. NASA also is continuing to work with the U.S. Congress to complete the necessary procedures to extend station operations consistent with the presidential budget request.

The MCB also noted the benefits to future exploration beyond low-Earth orbit through enhanced station research, technology development and other opportunities. Each partner agency reaffirmed its commitment to gaining the maximum return from station with increasing the operational efficiency. On-going research with potential societal impacts includes: NASA and the National Institutes of Health recently announced three new biomedical experiments using the station's unique microgravity facilities to improve human health on Earth. The experiments will use the station to study how bones and the immune system weaken in space as part of NIH’s new BioMed-ISS program.

No comments:

Post a Comment