The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, or CASIS, is a US government-funded national laboratory, with principal research facilities located in the United States portion of the International Space Station.
Mission and operations
CASIS is the manager of the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory. The mission of CASIS is "to maximize use of this unparalleled platform for innovation, which can benefit all humankind and inspire a new generation to look to the stars."
CASIS endeavors to provide:
- seed money to fund research projects and product development
- aerospace expertise to assist researchers in utilizing in-space laboratory assets
- access to space via several international launch providers
- administrative support "to cut through red tape to facilitate quick access to space"
- educational outreach projects and curricula to teach and inspire students across the country.
As of March 2014, CASIS is operating on an annual budget of US$15 million.
The assets available on the ISS for US research are underutilized. Problems exist both in getting sufficient mass and volume transported to the ISS, as well as in obtaining sufficient astronaut time to "maximize all the possibilities." Somewhat less than 75 percent of the station’s total research capacity is being carried out based on "occupancy of racks on the station", and even less than that when severely limited crew time is considered, as many of the occupied racks are insufficiently served due to the oversubcription of crew time: "we actually have more things people would like to do than the crew has time to help with."
- CASIS official website