Status Report

NASA Selects 21 Research Proposals to Advance Human Space Exploration

By SpaceRef Editor
October 7, 2020
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NASA’s Human Research Program will fund 21 proposals to help answer questions about astronaut health and performance during future long-duration missions beyond low-Earth orbit. The selected proposals will investigate biological, physiological, and behavioral adaptations to spaceflight. The 21 selected projects will contribute to NASA’s long-term plans, which include crewed missions to the Moon and Mars.


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


The selected investigations will take place in research laboratories on the ground and aboard the International Space Station. Among the studies, Scott Wood, senior neuroscientist at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, will evaluate a combination of medication and sensory augmentation to both mitigate motion sickness and enhance crew performance. Rachael Seidler, professor of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology at the University of Florida in Gainesville, will investigate spaceflight-induced ocular changes and changes in brain structure and function in astronauts on the International Space Station. Michael O’Banion, professor of Neuroscience at the University of Rochester, New York, will explore the dose- and time-dependent effects of simulated space radiation on multiple tissue endpoints associated with normal aging.


The selected proposals are from 19 institutions in 12 states and will receive a total of approximately $19.3 million during a one- to five-year period. The 21 projects were selected from 109 proposals received in response to the 2019 Human Exploration Research Opportunities Appendices C and D.  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.