NASA has plans to review the NPO which runs a small portion of ISS operations at its national laboratory. It has also called for the organization to take a strategic break for a while. NASA’s Bridenstine supported reviewing the organization known as CASIS. In 2018, it rebranded itself with a new name – The ISS National Laboratory. This review will ensure that its operations are aligned with low Earth commercialization strategies announced by NASA back in June. This independent review shall be commissioned by NASA’s SMD and HEOMD departments. This review will be headed by Cantwell, a senior VP for R&I at Arizona University. CASIS hasn’t yet responded to this announcement.
However, a letter by NASA to CASIS calls for CASIS to strategically pause its activities so that the review panel can find out whether the team was working with the right resources and goals, which would improve lives back on Earth. This review will take around twelve weeks to be fully complete.
This letter mentioned a CASIS request for reducing or changing the services provided by Vockley, CEO of CASIS. NASA stated that it would be deferring this request until the review was done and dusted. Another source stated that removing Vockley would require NASA’s permission. The BOD of CASIS had moved to remove him recently.
Vockley and Bridenstine had appeared together recently at a conference organized by CASIS. At this event, they agreed that CASIS was capable of playing a significant role in research and could advance it to a point where commercialization could be carried out. Vockley had announced that NASA was a great partner to have, who enabled all their operations. Bridenstine was questioned whether he would see changes in the current NASA – CASIS relationship to which he replied in affirmative. CASIS has been criticized in the past for lack of ample progress for all the resources it uses.