Nov 10, 1997

Joint US-Russian research results presented here




Joint US-Russian research results presented here

November 11, 1997


space station mockup
Early research to pave the way for full-scale experiments aboard the International Space Station (a mockup is pictured at right) is being reviewed this week in Huntsville, Alabama, by top scientists from Russia and the United States.

The work stems from an agreement signed by NASA in August 1995 to provide $20 million to the Russian Space Agency for a variety of science and engineering projects in support of the Phase I of the space station program. The current work, which includes NASA's manned presence aboard Russia's Mir space station, runs through August 1998.

It is supervised by the Science and Technical Advisory Council (STAC) which is chaired by Dr. V.F. Utkin of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Utkin said that three important results from the STAC research have been starting development of a space station "for the next century that we can pass on to our children," overcoming public resistance to joint ventures between the United States and Russia, and overcoming the Cold War state of mind that made joint programs difficult while the two nations were adversaries.

"We are getting better at bringing U.S. and Russian scientists together," said Dr. Arnauld Nicogossian, NASA's associate administrator for life and microgravity sciences and applications. "In 1992, when the NASA Administrator (Daniel Golden) began negotiations with the Russian Space Agency about International Space Station - and which began the Shuttle-Mir program, using Mir, we decided it would be a fertile ground for collaboration between Russian and U.S. researchers."

Russia formed an advisory group which led to more than 160 peer-reviewed investigations which are being presented this week. Nicogossian added that he hopes the research results will lead to joint commercial activities as the results are applied.

Research results that will be discussed this week include the design of a solar telescope to be attached to space station, the growth of advanced alloys and semiconductors in space, design of a space greenhouse for biology experiments, and crew health issues.

The Marshall/Space Sciences website will post stories of significant results from this conference throughout the week.