CASIS Announces Project Agreements in Physical Sciences, Earth Observation and Payload Retrieval for Research on ISS

by | Oct 17, 2014

MELBOURNE, Fla., Oct. 16, 2014”The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) today announced a series of unsolicited investigations focused on physical sciences and Earth observation studies. CASIS is the organization responsible for managing the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory.

This series of unsolicited projects represents a wide-ranging set of ISS National Lab investigations. CASIS accepts projects through either of two pathways: a traditional, targeted solicitation for grants focused on high priority areas of research and technology development, and a less traditional unsolicited proposal process, whereby any U.S. researcher, academic institution, or commercial organization can submit a white paper describing an experiment that uses the unique environment of the ISS National Lab for Earth benefit. In some instances, CASIS can provide funding for unsolicited proposals based on scientific merit and potential benefit to the American taxpayer.

Below provides an overview of the announced unsolicited investigations:

Stephen Altemus of Intuitive Machines (Houston, TX) will test a Terrestrial Return Vehicle (TRV) that addresses the need for priority small payload return from ISS. With approximately 30 liters of downmass capability per return flight, this technology should attract increased utilization of the ISS as an on-orbit laboratory and improve the commercialization of on-orbit experiments for terrestrial benefit.

Talbot Jaeger from NovaWurks, Inc. (Los Alamitos, CA) has developed a Hyper-Integrated Satellite named HISat that provides complete satellite functionality in a nanosatellite scale package. This project will design and demonstrate a technology for on-orbit assembly and deployment of the HISat system from ISS that should substantially reduce costs associated with satellite system development for space-based R&D.

Jeff Strahan of Milliken & Company (Spartanburg, SC) will evaluate flame retardant and/or resistant (FR) textiles as a mode of personal protection from fire-related hazards. Studying FR behavior of different materials in microgravity will aid in better designs for future FR textiles and benefit those who wear FR protective apparel such as military personnel and civilian workers in the electrical and energy industries.

Lauren Thompson from A-76 Technologies (Houston, TX), the first CASIS awardee from the oil and gas industry, plans to test in the harsh environment of space a line of new corrosion inhibitors and lubricants. The unique challenges of exposure to the space environment will demonstrate performance under extreme conditions that accelerate material degradation. Metals coated with A-76 products (planned for future use in preventing corrosion in oil and gas lines on Earth) will be exposed to space using the ISS NanoRacks external platform.

Through this wide array of unsolicited investigations, CASIS continues in its mission to not only utilize the ISS National Laboratory to its fullest capacity but also bring about novel research inquiry, said CASIS Chief Operating Officer Duane Ratliff. These projects represent a broad range of studies that can potentially yield groundbreaking results. From better understanding our planet's makeup to increasing the potential for rapid retrieval of research investigations, CASIS is proud to support each of these payloads with the ultimate goal of benefitting life on Earth.

For information about CASIS opportunities, including instructions on submitting research ideas, please visit


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