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International Partners Discuss Space Station Operations



Feb. 03, 2011

Joshua Buck 
Headquarters, Washington      
202-358-1100 
jbuck@xxxxxxxx   


RELEASE: 11-032

INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS DISCUSS SPACE STATION OPERATIONS

WASHINGTON -- The International Space Station partner agencies met 
Thursday, Feb. 3, by videoconference to discuss coordinating the 
increased use of the space station as a research laboratory. The 
agencies want to continue using the station as a test-bed for 
exploration and find innovative ways to reduce costs while increasing 
use. 

The Multilateral Coordination Board (MCB) meeting included senior 
representatives from NASA; the Canadian Space Agency (CSA); the 
European Space Agency (ESA); the Russian Federal Space Agency 
(Roscosmos); and the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, 
Science and Technology (MEXT). As the senior management board, the 
MCB meets periodically to ensure coordination of station operations 
and activities among the partners. 

The MCB reaffirmed its commitment to reduce operational costs, develop 
an integrated transportation plan and maximize return by increasing 
research aboard the station while developing techniques for future 
exploration outside Earth's orbit. 

The MCB members reviewed ongoing international use of the station as a 
laboratory for scientific research, technology development and 
testing and educational activities. In the six months between March 
and September 2010, the five partner agencies have provided 195 
research opportunities on the orbiting outpost for 385 investigators 
from 29 countries. Increasing the station's use as a unique 
laboratory is of paramount importance to the international partners. 
The International Space Station has proven to be an important 
platform for research in biology and biotechnology, Earth and space 
science, human physiology, physical science, technology development 
and education. 

The partners also renewed their commitment to use station resources 
and observation capability to assist in humanitarian needs such as 
aiding in disaster recovery, tracking oil spills and monitoring 
climate change. 

All of the partners also recognize the station's role in inspiring 
students around the world to learn about science, technology, 
engineering and mathematics. More than 30 million students have 
participated in human spaceflight through communications downlinks 
and interactive experiments with station astronauts. 

The governments of Japan and the Russian Federation have approved 
continued ISS operations beyond 2016. The NASA Authorization Act of 
2010 extended operations until at least 2020. ESA and CSA are working 
with their respective governments to reach consensus about the 
continuation of the station. 

For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit: 



http://www.nasa.gov 


For more information about the CSA, visit: 



http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng 


For more information about the ESA, visit: 



http://www.esa.int/spaceflight 


For more information about Roscosmos, visit: 



http://www.federalspace.ru 


For more information about MEXT, visit: 



http://www.mext.go.jp/english   

	
-end-



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