Status Report

The Mars Gravity Biosatellite Program Is Closing Down

By SpaceRef Editor
June 24, 2009
Filed under , ,
The Mars Gravity Biosatellite Program Is Closing Down

Mars Gravity friends and advisors: It’s been a good ride. Since the Mars Gravity Biosatellite program started in 2001, we have:

* Educated well over 600 graduate and undergraduate students in aerospace engineering, space life sciences, and program management.

* Forged collaborations between MIT, the University of Washington, University of Queensland, and Georgia Tech, as well as industry partners and a vibrant international summer internship program.

* Developed a solid preliminary design of a challenging biosatellite system with even further progress in areas of highest technical risk.

* Tested payload hardware under closed-loop atmospheric conditions, and in a parabolic flight environment at Mars-, Lunar- and micro-gravity levels.

* Created a novel model of partial weightbearing for chronic musculoskeletal studies, now in use at 3 other universities.

* Raised over $1.3M in NASA grants and awards, and nearly another $1M in other funds and in-kind donations.

* Published over 20 conference presentations and papers, earning multiple student awards.

Unfortunately, with the current economy and priorities at NASA, the time has come to close out the program and look forward to the next adventure. It is with great pride in the accomplishments of our team that I thank each of you for your support over the years.

In the weeks ahead, we will be collating a portfolio of design documents, historical information, and key references from the program and sharing them online.

It is our hope that some of this work may be picked up by other interested students, faculty, and investigators to support future space investigations.

If you have any messages for the team in closing, I would be happy to pass those along.

Thank you again for the adventure.

Ad astra,
Erika Wagner
Science Director &
Program Executive Director
Mars Gravity Biosatellite

SpaceRef staff editor.