CASIS Awards $800,000 in Grants to Boost ISS Science

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WASHINGTON — The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the nonprofit manager of non-NASA science aboard the international space station, spread about $800,000 in grant money among three experiments aimed at improving scientific research aboard the orbital outpost.

Individual awards range in value from $200,000 to $300,000, Patrick O’Neil, spokesman for Melbourne, Florida-based CASIS, wrote in an Oct. 15 email. Winning experiments were selected from among those that replied to CASIS’s February request for proposals for “Enabling Technology to Support Science in Space for Life on Earth.” The experiments have not yet been scheduled for launch.

Grant recipients, and their experiments, according to CASIS’s Oct. 15 press release, are:

  • Jayfus Doswell of Juxtopia in Baltimore, who will develop and evaluate a wearable goggle computer similar to Google’s Glass and called the Juxtopia Context-Aware Mobile Mixed Assistive Device. The goggles will provide virtual assistance, in the form of written and other instructions visible to the wearer, “to improve the speed and accuracy with which astronauts perform science experiments aboard station,” according to CASIS.
  • Scott Green of Controlled Dynamics in Huntington Beach, California, who seeks to develop a vibration-dampening insert for existing ISS hardware where research is stored. The insert could improve space experiments in crystallization; cell, tissue, and plant culturing; and other studies, CASIS said.
  • Mason Peck, former NASA chief technologist and current Cornell University professor, who with NanoRacks of Houston will adapt a spacecraft-on-a-chip experimental satellite platform called Sprite to eventually be programmed and deployed from ISS “to provide a low-cost, rapidly-deployable, crew-configurable, small-satellite platform for science and technology development,” CASIS said.

By law, CASIS manages any research aboard station performed by non-NASA government agencies and the private sector. The group, which was created in 2011, gets $15 million a year from NASA, including $3 million earmarked for funding grants.