Closing remarks

Editor’s note: These brief extracts are paraphrased from live webcast and may not be fully correct.

Closing Session: ‘Future Perspectives and Closing Remarks’

Thomas Reiter, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight & Operations

  • This symposium has once more highlighted the success of ISS.
  • There is every possibility to continue research on ISS.
  • Our research objectives are interrelated. The science on ISS addresses issues for astronauts but the main focus is definitely for people on Earth.
  • We will see an increased scientific return in the coming years.
  • Research on the ISS is institutionally funded. We should engage industry to use ISS for research.
  • Investment in space is recognised as having economic benefits and this is even more important in times of financial stress.
  • All the best in the future, the ISS symposium 2012 is now concluded.


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Thomas Reiter in closing address

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ESA’s future science and technology

Editor’s note: These brief extracts are paraphrased from live webcast and may not be fully correct.

Future ISS Perspectives: ‘The ISS and ESA’s future Science and Technology’
             Michael Longair, ESA HISPAC Chair

Download the full presentation slides: The ISS and ESA’s Future Science and Technology

  • There is a fine line between science, applied science and technology in ESA activities.
  • HISPAC (High-level Science Policy Advisory Committee) was set up to think about interdisciplinary  science and technology without considering financial or political restraints.
  • The HISPAC team is made up of star scientists.
  • ESA reorganised the structure of its science advisory.
  • In preparation for the ESA ministerial council meeting HISPAC was asked to prepare long-term grand science themes across all ESA programmes.
  • The director general himself has not seen these themes:
  • 1. Cosmic climate: Earth observation and studying exo-planets.
  • 2. Understanding gravity: gravity influences everything
  • 3. Life in the universe
  • 4. Cosmic magnetism and high energy particles in space.
  • We need to look at space research horizontally across broad scientific themes.

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Future benefits for you

Future ISS Perspectives: ‘ISS and beyond: What is in there for you?’

Berndt Feuerbacher, ESA-HESAC Chair

Download the full presentation slides: ISS and beyond: What is in there for you?

Editor’s note: These brief extracts are paraphrased from live webcast and may not be fully correct. 

  • We saw great examples over the past days but there is more to the ISS.
  • By expanding ISS utilisation we add ‘three further generations of PhD students’ [worth]’ of research possibilities.
  • ISS utilisation is at a turning point
  • We are seeing industrial applications from space research such as turbine blades and plasma therapy.
  • Quantum physics research is comeing to the ISS. The ACES space clock is the first step but more research is possible.
  • These are not just toys for scientists but promise radically new technologies and will have economic impact.
  • When I was young we had a laser in our research lab. Nobody imagined that they would be in everyone’s homes as CD players were a few years later.
  • I wish that partners: reduce mission costs, shorten access times & lessen paperwork, include the private sector and enlarge ISS to more international partners.
  • Beyond 2020 we need to involve private companies, but actions need to be taken now to prepare for this.
  • The most fascinating destination for humans is Mars.
  • To get to Mars we will need major technology changes, such as new propulsion systems, self-supporting life systems and changes in communication.
  • Future exploration requires huge efforts and is a task for humanity as a whole.
  • A tool exists to coordinate a global exploration effort: the International Space Exploration Group.
  • Human exploration is starting today, global cooperation, economic progress, innovation, inspiration and increase in knowledge await all who join in the endeavour.
  • The ISS is available now: let’s use it!


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Super cool! Alpha Magenetic Spectrometer video as seen at ISS Symposium Berlin

The **excellent** video shown as part of Dr. Stefan Schael’s presentation on the AMS-02 experiment at the symposium. Credits: widlab More info via the AMS02 Collaboration site.

Editor’s note: Was also screened at the New York – Imagine Science Film Festival –

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NASA Administrator Charles Bolden

Editor’s note: These brief extracts are paraphrased from live webcast and may not be fully correct.

Human Exploration on ISS:
Use of ISS for Human Exploration in LEO and beyond

Charles F. Bolden, Jr., NASA Administrator

  • US President Barack Obama has set two dates: visit an asteroid by 2025 and visit Mars by mid-2030s.
  • Some problems in space flight were not anticipated. This opens up the need for further research beyond microgravity.
  • When commercial ferry Dragon docks with the Space Station it will herald a new era of space exploration. For the first time commercial companies will enter the equation on their own accord.
  • Cygnus is an example of an international commercial endeavour.
  • Space Station international partnership is perhaps its greatest strength. From advancing individual countries to advancing as a whole.

Q: Is NASA heading towards increasing risks to achieve the incredible goals set?

A: We are definitely not lowering the requirements or increasing risks. Extensive testing will be conducted on the Orion spacecraft. Of course space exploration is inherently risky, that is why many of us are here.

Q: What are your views on the academic research versus commercial research on ISS?

A: If we truly want to enhance utilisation we need to cast our net as wide as we can.

Q: How do you see international cooperation in achieving NASA’s goals?

A: Previous Apollo mentions were basically all American. Today we are all on the same goal. International cooperation is assured. We cannot do what we want to do without you.

Q: Is there a precursor mission to all these flights planned?

A: Because of our budget constraints we need to look at reshaping our missions to meet all priorities. You will start to see, this summer, a realistic programme with smaller missions that still achieve the goals set out.

Curiosity will land on Mars in August. It will be the largest spacecraft to land on Mars. Many countries have a skill in space flight. American space flight is skilled in landing operations.

Q: Will partnerships enlarge ISS collaboration?

A: The partnership we have was hard to achieve. We decided not to change the treaty as it would take a long time. Instead we decided to offer partnerships on a different basis.

Q: What will the role of partnerships in the next space station?

A: The ISS cannot be the only destination in low Earth orbit. Private companies need to create new destinations and platforms in orbit. Free-flying platforms that offer space for experiments to run over long periods of time is the future.

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ESA’s Elips programme

Editor’s note: These brief extracts are paraphrased from live webcast and may not be fully correct.

European ISS Research Strategy

Christer Fuglesang, Head of the Science and Application Division, ESA

Download the full presentation slides: European ISS Research Strategy

ESA will continue its research programme for ISS called Elips.

    • ESA’s assets are the Columbus laboratory on ISS, the ATV transport vehicle, dedicated science facilities and the Columbus Control Centre with 9 support centres.
    • Elips started in 2002 and involves ground-based facilities to improve the efficiency of space research.
    • Elips supports industrial applications based on recommendations from users and scientists.
    • Key research topics of Elips include:
  1. Weightlessness: it is a challenge but offers an opportunity to study related conditions on Earth.
  2. Biology: research in the stressful environment on molecular level gives benefits back home. An example is the ROALD experiment recently featured in the news.
  3. Astrobiology: we found that some fungi survive in space. The cosmetic industry is interested in this experiment to create make-up with better protective properties. You never know where an industrial application will originate from.
  4. Material sciences: looking at micro-structures in alloys.
  5. Physics of fluids and combustion: creating more stable foams and complex fluids.
  6. Fundamental physics: looking at constants in nature. A possible future project is optical clocks.
  7. ESA supplies the hardware for projects but funding must come from member states.
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Canada’s exploration of Earth and space

Editor’s note: These brief extracts are paraphrased from live webcast and may not be fully correct.

             Canadian Research Priorities
             Nicole Buckley, Chief Scientist, ISS and Life Sciences, CSA

Download the full presentation slides: Priorities for ISS Utilization at the Canadian Space Agency

  • Exploration on Earth is not fast, not cheap and not easy.
  • Exploring the north west passage took centuries but the benefits are obvious.
  • Canada is a small country with strengths in robotic arms.
  • Canada will continue to develop its strengths.
  • We need to engage the public to continue to support exploration.
  • By applying an open innovation model we are involving as many communities as possible working together.
  • We need the results from space on Earth now.
  • People should say when they visit the doctor: “I want the same technology the astronauts have”
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Russia’s ISS Research Programme

Editor’s note: These brief extracts are paraphrased from live webcast and may not be fully correct.

            Russia’s ISS Research Programme
             Georgy Karabadzhak, TsNIIMash/Russia

Download the full presentation slides: Russia’s ISS Utilization Program

  • ROSCOSMOS’ long term programme was set years ago.
  • The ISS platform possibilities have expanded and we are expanding our research scope.
  • Examples of ROSCOSMOS research can be found in space medicine, biology, materials, geophysics, space engineering and technology.
  • Almost half of the experiments set in our long-term programme have been completed.
  • Space exploration happens in three stages: basic research, development of new space research and finally utilisation for practical benefits. ISS has reached the final stage.
  • ISS has proven itself already.
  • In basic research ISS is being used in radiation studies and vacuum studies amongst others.
  • For further space exploration ISS is being used to develop and test new generation life support systems and robotic systems to assist astronaut’s operations.
  • In the future we are looking at new inflatable modules or free flying spacecraft.
  • The full importance of ISS can not be answered now, the future will tell how important it is. This symposium strengthens our opinion that the ISS will prove itself in future history.
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Kibo research priorities

Editor’s note: These brief extracts are paraphrased from live webcast and may not be fully correct.            

 JAXA’s ISS Utilisation Strategy
             Makato Asashima, AIST/Japan

Download the full presentation slides: ISS/Kibo Utilization Strategy in Japan

  • JAXA’s Kibo research module projects will focus on life science, space medicine and physical/chemical science.
  • Life sciences on Kibo will research life from small to large progressively: from cellular research to microbes to vertebrates to mammals to humans by 2020. 
  • Space medicine will focus on research to improve health care technology.
  • Long term targets for chemical science are to contribute to new combustion systems and the science of bubbles, droplets and films.
  • Short term targets include researching soft materials of benefit for Earth.
  • An announcement of opportunity was announced and research will be chosen based on utilisation objectives.


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