June 2, 2009

NASA gets ready to study space radiation

The U.S. space agency announced the selection of four research proposals to study space radiation's affects on human living in space.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said it selected proposals from the New York University School of Medicine, the University of Texas Medical Branch, Loma Linda University and Georgetown University. The schools will work with collaborating organizations around the nation.

These institutions will become NASA Specialized Centers of Research, officials said Tuesday. They will consist of teams of investigators who have complementary skills and work together to solve a closely focused set of research questions. The proposals support the space radiation program element within NASA's Human Research Program.

The space agency is investing $28.4 million for research into carcinogenesis and central nervous system risks from spaceflight. Research from the peer-reviewed proposals during the five-year award period will pave the way for development of effective countermeasures for space travelers, officials said.