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NASA Awards Universities Funding That May Support Moon to Mars

NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) Institutional Research Opportunity (MIRO), has awarded eight cooperative agreements to universities to perform research and education. The awards directly support NASA’s four mission directorates – Aeronautics Research, Human Exploration and Space Operations, Science and Space Technology.

A total of 56 proposals were submitted and underwent an evaluation process involving a deep-dive online review, a subject matter expert peer panel evaluation and an assessment by NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement. More than $8.2 million will be distributed this year among the eight universities.

The University of Texas, San Antonio, will use its funding for measurement techniques that may lead to breakthroughs in data acquisition for the extreme environments experienced by extraterrestrial surfaces during atmospheric entry. The data may help NASA scientists and engineers prepare and plan to explore further into the solar system through the Artemis program and later to Mars.

The University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, will use its funding to focus on human-centered research, environmental control, and life support that will enable long-term duration missions. Additionally, Rio Piedras will focus on high-performance batteries for space exploration missions that may support NASA’s journey from the Moon to Mars.

Below is a full list of the selected universities:

MUREP supports training and development of students and faculty involved in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), at targeted colleges and universities. The program provides opportunities for research and education to inspire and prepare increasing numbers of students for STEM careers. As an integral part of this mission, MIRO was established to strengthen and develop the research capacity and infrastructure of Minority Serving Institutions in areas of strategic importance and value to NASA’s mission and national priorities.

For more information about MUREP, please click here.