October 28, 2009
NASA Awards Space Radiobiology Research Grants
NASA is funding 12 proposals from nine states to investigate questions about the effects of space radiation on human explorers. The selected proposals from researchers in Alabama, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Texas, Virginia and Washington have a total value of approximately $13.7 million.
The ground-based studies will address the impact of space radiation on astronaut health. Research areas will include risk predictions for cancer and models for potential damage to the central nervous system and the heart.
"The proposals funded this year using systems biology and state-of-the-art cell and molecular biology approaches will lead to improved understanding and identification of approaches to mitigate the risks to astronauts 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 Human Research Program provides knowledge and technologies to improve human 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.
The 12 projects were selected 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: http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/acd/human.html