Broadcast 4059 Patrick O'Neill

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  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

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The Space Foundation Conference

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Guest:  Patrick O'Neill who is the public affairs and outreach lead for the ISS National Lab; Topics:  The ISS National Lab, the upcoming ISSRDC Conference, lab experiments, protocols, users, launches, power and more. 

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We welcomed Patrick O'Neill to The Space Show to discuss the ISS National Lab plus the upcoming International Space Station Research and Development Conference July 31-August 3 in Seattle, WA.  For more information on the conference, see the conference website at  Our guest talked at length about the conference program later in our interview so I suggest becoming familiar with it as this conferences offers quite a bit, especially for those who can benefit from the services as well as launch and fee structure of the Lab.  All of this was explained in detail by our guest.  If you do attend, please let me know as I would like for you to share your conference experience on The Space Show.

I would also like to call your attention to our tags, a practice I have been doing with many Space Show summaries. Our tags do a good job of providing a concise summary of topics discussed on each program.  For the balance of the summary, I typically should out to a few of the topics that got most of my attention or that I wanted to highlight.  Below you will find the tags used for this program as I have posted them for your referral convenience:

Tags:  Patrick O'Neill, ISS National Laboratory, public affairs and outreach lead, International Space Station R&D Conference (ISSRDC), Patrick's space interests, Congressional creation of the ISS National history, status of National Lab upon ISS retirement, National Lab possible models post ISS retirement, lead times for R&D project to fly on National Lab, timing of experiments with launch and crew, power supply and the National Lab, lab size on the ISS, nuclear power and experiments on the lab, lab public awareness, Big Pharma examples, ISS experiment failure rate, National Lab power outages, lab quality procedures and oversight protocols, clean room, autonomous experiments, microgravity glove box, SpaceX leads on lab launches, Axiom Space, Northrup-Grumman, ESA and the National Lab, participation requirements for non-American science projects, conference live stream events, CASIS

Many topics and subtopics in this discussion caught my attention.  For example, our guest talked about the size of the lab space in the ISS and its description.  As you will hear, there is no one area deemed The National Lab.  The lab is throughout the U.S. segment of the ISS.  Our guest compared the total lab space to a typical single family home and said that the lab space probably totaled around 1.5 bedrooms in a 5 bedroom home.  I found that perspective helpful in grasping the size of the lab in the overall context of ISS size.  Honestly, I had never heard the lab space described by comparing it to a 5 bedroom home. Furthermore, Patrick talked about the power coming to the lab, potential power failures, overall experimental failure rate, the microgravity glove box rather than real clean rooms and more related to the description of the lab and its operations.

Another interesting point was made when Patrick was asked about who provided most of the lab and ISS launches. Listen to how he explained his answer regarding both SpaceX and N-G but then he said this was likely to change with new players such as Axiom Space entering the launch market.  In addition, Patrick talked about the future of the lab post ISS retirement.  He said there were discussions about that but then he described one of the models being examined. What do you think of the suggested model for post station retirement?  By the way, this discussion was early in the first part of our program.  Please comment on your thoughts on this matter on our program blog.

Our guest had lots to say about medical research in the lab given my comments about the recent Cedars-Sinai stem cell program with Dr. Arun Sharma. He participates with the National Lab, is part of the upcoming conference, and they launched their work to the station using Axiom Space. This part of the discussion was in relationship to not just medical science on the lab but access for various projects to find a home on the lab.

Please post your comments/questions for this program on our blog.  You can reach Patrick through me at The Space Show, the upcoming conference, LinkedIn and multiple other sites associated with the ISS, CASIS and more. 




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21 Jul 2023 Patrick O'Neill
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  • The Space Foundation Conference

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