WASHINGTON -- NASA invites scientists from around the country to submit proposals to perform biological research aboard the International Space Station. The NASA Research Announcement (NRA), "Research Opportunities in Space Biology," opened Sept. 30.
This NRA challenges scientists to propose experiments that could provide answers to questions about how life adapts and responds to microgravity. Selected investigators will have the opportunity to take advantage of new cell, plant and animal research facilities being developed for the space station. Proposals should demonstrate benefits to astronauts living and working in the harsh environment of space during long-duration missions. They also should improve medicine and health care for humans on Earth.
The NRA also focuses on ground-based research designed to lead to new space biology investigations aboard the orbiting laboratory. The investigations should use microgravity and other characteristics of the space environment effectively to enhance our understanding of basic biological processes and develop the scientific and technological foundations for a safe, productive human presence in space for extended periods in preparation for exploration beyond low Earth orbit. The investigations should apply this knowledge and technology to improve the nation's competitiveness, education and quality of life.
NASA's selection of research projects is guided by recommendations from the National Research Council's 2011 Decadal Survey Report, "Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era." The NASA-developed "Fundamental Space Biology Science Plan" provides an implementation strategy and roadmap based on available flight and fiscal resources.
To read the complete NRA, click on "Solicitations" at NASA's NSPIRES website: http://nspires.nasaprs.com
For information about the International Space Station, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station