Iss Science Officer

In 2002, in recognition of the expected expansion of scientific activities on the space station, NASA identified a new "duty assignment" for one NASA astronaut on each ISS main expedition crew, the Science Officer. Initially, they would focus solely on US research, but over time NASA planned to discuss the role with other partners, possibly expanding the concept as the station itself was enlarged and incorporated more scientific research facilities from other member countries. The NASA ISS science officer would work with the US research committee to "understand and meet the requirements and objectivities of each ISS experiment." This was intended to achieve maximum scientific research return and to be the point of contact between the serving ISS resident crew and NASA-sponsored PIs, as well as the developers of payloads, those who integrate these payloads into the mission, and the training teams who prepare the crews. The first person to receive this assignment was ISS-5 flight engineer Dr. Peggy Whitson, who was named as NASA's pioneering ISS science officer in September 2002.6

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