Renewed Science Focus Needed At NASA | April 11, 2011 Issue - Vol. 89 Issue 15 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 89 Issue 15 | p. 28 | Concentrates
Issue Date: April 11, 2011

Renewed Science Focus Needed At NASA

Department: Government & Policy
Keywords: space, research, station

To develop the technologies required for humans to travel beyond low Earth orbit, NASA must renew its commitment to life and physical sciences research, according to a National Research Council report. The agency’s science program has been reduced in recent years because of budgetary challenges and other mission priorities, states the report, which is part of a series of decadal surveys being done for NASA by NRC. As a result of this de-emphasis on science, NASA is poorly positioned to take full advantage of the research opportunities of the International Space Station. To reinvigorate the agency’s program, the report recommends a research portfolio that includes priority work in fundamental physical sciences in space, such as the study of complex fluids and soft matter in a microgravity environment; applied physical sciences, such as combustion processes and modeling; and translation to space exploration systems, including regenerative fuel cells. The report is available at

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