Posted by Courtney E. HowardWASHINGTON, 12 Sept. 2011. NASA officials have selected the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) to manage the U.S. national laboratory portion of the International Space Station (ISS). CASIS personnel will operate out of the Space Life Sciences Laboratory at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., to help ensure the station's unique capabilities are available to a broad cross-section of U.S. scientific, technological, and industrial communities. CASIS staff, under a cooperative agreement worth up to $15 million per year initially, will develop and manage a varied research-and-development portfolio based on U.S. national needs for basic and applied research; establish a marketplace to facilitate matching research pathways with qualified funding sources; and stimulate interest in using the national lab for research and technology demonstrations and as a platform for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The station’s goal is to support, promote, and accelerate innovations and new discoveries in science, engineering, and technology that will improve life on Earth."The station is the centerpiece of our human spaceflight activities for the coming years," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden says. "This cooperative agreement allows us to expand the station's use and achieve its fullest potential so we can reach destinations farther in the solar system and improve life on Earth. CASIS will help NASA make the station available to a diverse national market that will use this unprecedented resource in innovative ways."