J.D. Harrington/Michael Braukus
Headquarters, Washington
William Jeffs
Johnson Space Center, Houston
Sept. 9, 2011
RELEASE : 11-295
NASA Awards Space Radiobiology Research Grants
WASHINGTON -- NASA is funding nine proposals from eight states to investigate space radiation's effect on human explorers. The proposals from researchers in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Texas have a total value of approximately $12 million.

The ground-based studies will work to better understand and mitigate risk of damage to the heart and central nervous system from cosmic rays. The studies also will assess cancer risks and how genetics affect space radiation risks.

"These studies will pave the way for new approaches to better prepare astronauts for living in space," said Francis A. Cucinotta, chief scientist for the Human Research Program Space Radiation Program Element at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. "The proposals will examine biological changes caused by unavoidable exposure to cosmic rays and their relation to heart, neuronal and cancer risks."

The Human Research Program provides knowledge and technologies to improve astronaut health during space exploration and identifies possible countermeasures for known problems. The program quantifies crew health and performance risks during spaceflight and develops strategies that mission planners and system developers can use to monitor and mitigate health risks.

NASA selected the nine projects from proposals that were reviewed by scientific and technical experts from academia and government laboratories. A complete list of the selected principal investigators, organizations and proposals is available at:


For information about NASA's Human Research Program, visit:


For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:



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