Major deal for Space Coast, says Senator
July 13, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. - NASA today took a major step toward bringing new high-tech jobs and industry to the Space Coast, according to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL).
Specifically, NASA decided to house management of a big part of the operation of the International Space Station (ISS) near Kennedy Space Center. In so doing it selected a nonprofit to manage all the research related to the space station national laboratory.
“This is a big deal,” Nelson said. “It’s going to bring money, jobs and industry to diversify an area hard-hit by retirement of the shuttle program.”
The cooperative agreement initially will have a value of up to $15 million per year, he said.
NASA is expected to announce this afternoon it has selected the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space Inc. (CASIS) to develop and manage the U.S. portion of the space station that will be operated as a national laboratory.
"The space station is the centerpiece of NASA's human spaceflight activities," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden says. "The research and technological breakthroughs aboard the station will facilitate our travel to destinations beyond low Earth orbit. It is truly a national asset, and by entering into this agreement, we are ensuring the station will be available for broad, meaningful and sustained use."
CASIS will be located at the Space Life Sciences Laboratory near KSC. NASA issued a cooperative agreement notice on Feb. 14 to seek a management partner for the portion of the station designated a national laboratory. The NASA Authorization Act of 2010, drafted by Nelson, extended station operations from 2015 until at least 2020, and also directed NASA to establish this organization.