Status Report

NASA Selects 21 Proposals to Support Crew Health and Performance in Astronauts on Missions to the Moon and Mars

By SpaceRef Editor
May 29, 2020
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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 and responses to spaceflight and space-like environments in support of NASA’s crewed Artemis missions to the Moon and future human exploration of Mars.


The selected projects are funded through NASA’s Human Research Program to address the practical problems of spaceflight that impact astronaut health, and its research may provide knowledge, technologies, and countermeasures that could improve human health and performance during space exploration. The organization’s goals are to help astronauts complete their challenging missions successfully and to preserve their long-term health.


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 can be found at:


SpaceRef staff editor.