June 1, 2020

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NASA Selects Proposals to Study Adaptation and Response for Astronaut Missions to Moon, Mars

NASA selected 21 proposals to help answer questions about astronaut health and performance during future long-duration missions beyond low-Earth orbit. The proposals will investigate biological, physiological, and behavioral adaptations during spaceflight in support of NASA’s crewed Artemis missions to the Moon and future human exploration of Mars.


Researchers test hardware during a parabolic flight.
Photographic support for Reduced Gravity Office’s Flight Opportunities Program research flight. Group A – Flight 2. Photo Date: July 24, 2014. Location: Ellington Field – C9 Aircraft. Photographer: Robert Markowitz

The investigations will take place in research laboratories and ground-based analog facilities used to mimic various aspects of the spaceflight environment. Among the studies, Brian Crucian, Senior Scientist at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, will examine how the immune system responds to lunar dust exposure; Ana Diaz Artiles, Assistant Professor in Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University, will use parabolic flight to investigate the impact of lower levels of gravity than experienced on Earth, on manual coordination tasks relevant for space exploration; and Wayne Nicholson, Professor of Microbiology and Cell Science at the University of Florida, will evaluate the survival and potency of probiotics following exposure to simulated space radiation (galactic cosmic rays and solar particle events) that astronauts will encounter during missions to Mars.

The selected proposals are from 14 institutions in 10 states and will receive a total of approximately $4.3 million during a one- to two-year period. NASA selected the projects from 129 proposals received in response to the 2019 Human Exploration Research Opportunities Appendices A and B. Science and technology experts from academia, government, and industry reviewed the proposals.

The complete list of the selected proposals, principal investigators and organizations is:

  • Ana Diaz Artiles, Texas A&M University: “Effects of Altered-Gravity on Perception and Bi-manual Coordination: Impacts on Functional Performance”
  • Ana Diaz Artiles, Texas A&M University: “Predicting acute cardiovascular and ocular changes due to changes in the gravitational vector and effects of countermeasures”
  • Marjan Boerma, University of Arkansas, Little Rock: “Assessment of galactic cosmic ray dose rate effects on endothelial function”
  • Daniel Buckland, Duke University: “Automated Vascular Access for Spaceflight”
  • Gilles Clement, NASA Johnson Space Center: “Functional Task Tests in Partial Gravity during Parabolic Flight”
  • Sylvain Costes, NASA Ames Research Center: “Mapping peripheral immune signatures of mouse and human responses to space radiation for biomarker identification”
  • Walter Cromer, Texas A&M University: “The Effect of Simulated Space Radiation on the Interaction of the Metabolome, Immune System and Lymphatic Anatomy of the Gastrointestinal Tract”
  • Brian Crucian, NASA Johnson Space Center: “Immunogenicity/Allergenicity of Lunar Dust”
  • Duane Hassane, Weill Medical College of Cornell University: “The impact of human spaceflight on clonal hematopoiesis”
  • Jessica Koehne, NASA Ames Research Center: “Printed Electrochemical Sensor Strip for Quantifying Bone Density Loss in Microgravity”
  • Karina Marshall-Goebel, NASA Johnson Space Center: “Characterization of Jugular Venous Blood Flow during Acute Fluid Shifts”


Read the full story here

[Originally posted by Nasa — May 29, 2020]