NASA: Space Station Science at Critical Point
It’s time to get serious about science in space, and the International Space Station is the perfect place to start, NASA officials said. “We are in a position in space research and space exploration where we have to push the ball and advance forward or we’re about ready to retreat from space,” William Gerstenmaier, NASA’s associate administrator for human exploration and operations, told a crowd of researchers here at the first annual ISS Research and Development Conference.
Science experiments on the space station have been under way since the outpost’s early days, of course. Construction of the orbiting laboratory began in 1998, and there has been a continuous human presence on the station since 2000. Now, however, there is little left to build and many opportunities to exploit, according to NASA speakers, who encouraged scientists to spread the word.