Keith’s note: Three days of online technical sessions for the 2021 ISS Research & Development Conference (ISSRDC) are being held from August 16-18. No one at NASA or the ISS National Laboratory seems to be making any effort to provide public mention of the event or what is being presented. There is no mention at the main NASA ISS page, the ISS National Laboratory (CASIS) home page. There is a small box in the lower right hand corner of the NASA ISS National Laboratory home page. None of the events are being show on NASA TV or live streamed unless you know about this hidden event and register. If you click through 10 pages of archived NASA press releases and media advisories there is no mention whatsoever of ISSRDC. The people who tweet stuff from HEOMD AA Kathy Luders’ Twitter account @KathyLuders make no mention.
Meanwhile, NASA continues the promotion of the value of the ISS (which is very real and only partially realized) and how they want the money to keep it fully operational until 2030 while also doing Artemis – with full funding – and building yet another space station (albeit a small one) in lunar orbit. NASA is also spending lots of money on capabilities offered by Axiom Space and other ways to extend the utility of ISS. But when it comes to explaining why this ISS spending is important or what benefits are being derived every day from the ISS, all NASA seems to be able to do is postpress releases about local schools talking to astronauts or cargo flight deliveries to the ISS. The users of the International Space Station are presenting their results and plans online – right now – and NASA HEOMD and PAO could not be bothered to lift a finger to tell anyone outside a very, very small bubble that this is even happening.