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Materials ScienceThe Materials Science Program is structured so that NASA s headquarters is responsible for the program content and selection, through the Enterprise Scientist, and MSFC provides for implementation of ground and flight programs with a Discipline Scientist and Discipline Manager. The Discipline Working Group of eminent scientists from outside of NASA acts in an advisory capacity and writes the Discipline Document from which the NRA content is derived. The program is reviewed approximately every three years by groups such as the Committee on Microgravity Research, the National Materials Advisory Board, and the OBPR Maximization and Prioritization (ReMaP) Task Force. The flight program has had as many as twenty-six principal investigators (PIs) in flight or flight definition stage, with the numbers of PIs in the future dependent on the results of the ReMaP Task Force and internal reviews. Each project has a NASA-appointed Project Scientist, considered a half-time job, who assists the PI in understanding and preparing for internal reviews such as the Science Concept Review and Requirements Definition Review. The Project Scientist also insures that the PI gets the maximum science support from MSFC, represents the PI to the MSFC community, and collaborates with the Project Manager to insure the project is well-supported and remains vital. Currently available flight equipment includes the Materials Science Research Rack (MSRR-1) and Microgravity Science Glovebox. Ground based projects fall into one or more of several categories. Intellectual Underpinning of Flight Program projects include theoretical studies backed by modeling and computer simulations; bring to maturity new research, often by young researchers, and may include preliminary short duration low gravity experiments in the KC-135 aircraft or drop tube; enable characterization of data sets from previous flights; and provide thermophysical property determinations to aid PIs. Radiation Shielding and preliminary In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) studies work towards future long duration missions. Biomaterials support materials issues affecting crew health. Nanostructured Materials are currently considered to be maturing new research, and Advanced Materials for Space Transportation has as yet no PIs. PIs are assigned a NASA Technical Monitor to maintain contact, a position considered to be a 5 percent per PI effort. Currently 33 PIs are supported on the 1996 NRA, which is about to expire, and 59 on the 1998 NRA. Two new NRAs, one for Radiation Shielding and one for Materials Science for Advanced Space Propulsion are due to be announced by the 2003 fiscal year. MSFC has a number of facilities supporting materials science. These include the Microgravity Development Laboratory/SD43; Electrostatic Levitator Facility; SCN Purification Facility; Electron Microscope/Microprobe Facility; Static and Rotating Magnetic Field Facility; X-Ray Diffraction Facility; and the Furnace Development Laboratory.
Document ID
Document Type
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
December 1, 2003
Publication Information
Publication: Biological and Physical Space Research Laboratory 2002 Science Review
Subject Category
Chemistry And Materials (General)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle20040073490Analytic PrimaryBiological and Physical Space Research Laboratory 2002 Science Review
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