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NASA Ames Proposals Selected to Support Crew Health on Deep Space Missions
May 6, 2014

NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) will fund 26 proposals – including three from NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. – to help investigate questions about astronaut health and performance on future deep space exploration missions. This research may help protect astronauts as they venture farther into the solar system than ever before to explore an asteroid and, eventually, Mars.

The selected Ames proposals include:

- Patricia Cowings – Pre-flight Training of Autonomic Responses for Mitigating the Effects of Spatial Disorientation During Spaceflight
- Ruth Globus – Skeletal Responses to Long-Duration Simulated Microgravity in Male and Female Rats
- Elizabeth Wenzel – Multimodal Augmented Displays for Surface Telerobotic Missions

The proposals will receive a total of about $17 million during a one- to three-year period. The 26 projects were selected from 123 proposals received in response to the research announcement "Research and Technology Development to Support Crew Health and Performance in Space Exploration Missions." Science and technology experts from academia and government reviewed the proposals. NASA will manage 21 of the projects and NSBRI will manage five.

The selected proposals will investigate the impact of the space environment on various aspects of astronaut health, including visual impairment, behavioral health, bone loss, cardiovascular alterations, human factors and performance, neurobehavioral and psychosocial factors, sensorimotor adaptation and the development and application of smart medical systems and technology.

HRP and NSBRI research provides knowledge and technologies that may improve human health and performance during space exploration. They also develop potential countermeasures for problems experienced during space travel. The organizations' goals are to help astronauts complete their challenging missions successfully and preserve their long-term health.

HRP quantifies crew health and performance risks during spaceflight and develops strategies that mission planners and system developers can use to monitor and mitigate the risks. These studies often lead to advancements in understanding and treating illnesses in patients on Earth.

NSBRI is a NASA-funded consortium of institutions studying health risks related to long-duration spaceflight. The Institute's science, technology and education projects take place at approximately 60 institutions across the United States.

For a complete list of the selected principal investigators, organizations and proposals, visit: http://go.nasa.gov/1mvlsLd

For information about NASA's Human Research Program, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/humanresearch/

For information about NSBRI's science, technology and education programs, visit: http://www.nsbri.org

Text issued as Ames news release 14-033AR

Rachel Hoover
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

Joshua Buck
Headquarters, Washington

William Jeffs
Johnson Space Center, Houston

Graham B.I. Scott
National Space Biomedical Research Institute, Houston

Artist's concept of astronauts on Mars
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Page Last Updated: May 6th, 2014
Page Editor: Rachel Hoover