December 3, 2010; Source: Popular Science | The nonprofit sector is an incredibly diverse collection of organizations. If you need evidence, just show up on December 10 at the headquarters of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration at 300 E St. SW in Washington, D.C. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. NASA is holding a public forum for nonprofit organizations that might be interested in bidding to manage research at the International Space Station.
NASA’s work on building out the space station will be completed after the next visit of the space shuttle Discovery. Although astronauts have conducted some 400 scientific experiments at the Space Station during its 10 years of human habitation, the most recent NASA authorization bill instructed NASA to outsource the management of the station’s research, in theory a way of increasing access for universities, scientific research labs, and private firms to the space station for new scientific experiments.
This should be one hefty cooperative agreement that NASA will release next week. The nonprofit will be in charge of a facility that cost 15 nations working through five international space agencies a cool $100 billion to build. Right now, Commander Scott Kelly and the rest of the Expedition 26 crew are in the midst of a six-month sojourn at the space station. You can even play a geography trivia game with Commander Kelly on Twitter.
Imagine if your nonprofit was charged with keeping an eye on the national laboratory at the space station. Now imagine if you are assigned for a stint of on-site management. We expect to see you at the December 10 bidders meeting.—Rick Cohen