Report recommends spinning off the space station


  • Randy Showstack


United States research activities on the International Space Station (ISS) should be managed by a private organization rather than by NASA, concludes a January 11 U.S. National Research Council (NRC) report. The report, requested and funded by NASA, responds to a 1998 proposal by NASA to establish a nongovernmental organization to facilitate American ISS research.

The new organization should support the space station's research agenda—including planning and scheduling experiments, stimulating commercial research uses of the space station, and serving as an intermediary between NASA and other sources to fund commercial research, according to the report.