C

Statement of Task

The purpose of this study is to evaluate NASA's plans for a Biotechnology Facility (BTF) envisioned for the International Space Station and to review the process for solicitation, selection, and experiment development to be carried out in the planned facility. Specifically, the study will:

  1. Review NASA's plan for a Biotechnology Facility and evaluate the facility's potential to support the range of investigations in cell biology (cell culture, growth, and differentiation) and molecular structure (growth of biological macromolecular crystals such as proteins and nucleic acids) envisioned by NASA for near-term (i.e., up to 5 years) space station utilization. To the extent feasible, the potential of the planned BTF to support research in other areas will also be evaluated.

  2. Based on current trends in science, identify design limitations that might constrain long-term (i.e., beyond 5 years) use of the planned BTF for experiments in cell biology and molecular structure. If warranted, recommend possible improvements to enhance design flexibility and expand research capability.

  3. Review NASA's process for solicitation, selection, and post-selection reviews (in preparation for flight) of biotechnology flight experiments. Where warranted, recommend changes in the process that could lead to improvements in scientific quality of experiments flown in the BTF and its utilization by a broader research community.

The product of the study will be a report that evaluates NASA's plans for a Biotechnology Facility envisioned for the International Space Station and reviews the process for solicitation, selection, and experiment development to be carried out in the planned facility, and make recommendations for improvements, when warranted. Funds for this activity have been provided by NASA.



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Future Biotechnology Research on the International Space Station C Statement of Task The purpose of this study is to evaluate NASA's plans for a Biotechnology Facility (BTF) envisioned for the International Space Station and to review the process for solicitation, selection, and experiment development to be carried out in the planned facility. Specifically, the study will: Review NASA's plan for a Biotechnology Facility and evaluate the facility's potential to support the range of investigations in cell biology (cell culture, growth, and differentiation) and molecular structure (growth of biological macromolecular crystals such as proteins and nucleic acids) envisioned by NASA for near-term (i.e., up to 5 years) space station utilization. To the extent feasible, the potential of the planned BTF to support research in other areas will also be evaluated. Based on current trends in science, identify design limitations that might constrain long-term (i.e., beyond 5 years) use of the planned BTF for experiments in cell biology and molecular structure. If warranted, recommend possible improvements to enhance design flexibility and expand research capability. Review NASA's process for solicitation, selection, and post-selection reviews (in preparation for flight) of biotechnology flight experiments. Where warranted, recommend changes in the process that could lead to improvements in scientific quality of experiments flown in the BTF and its utilization by a broader research community. The product of the study will be a report that evaluates NASA's plans for a Biotechnology Facility envisioned for the International Space Station and reviews the process for solicitation, selection, and experiment development to be carried out in the planned facility, and make recommendations for improvements, when warranted. Funds for this activity have been provided by NASA.