NASA has announced it will fund 21 research proposals designed to advance human space exploration.
The agency has revealed that the research will specifically focus on astronaut health and performance during future long-duration missions that travel beyond low-Earth orbit.
It is hoping that this work will help it develop future manned missions to both the Moon and Mars, and potentially beyond. Through the research, NASA aims to develop technology that can improve human health and performance during space flight.
Another aim of these projects is to identify potential problems that humans may face during long-duration missions and to find ways of mitigating them.
Among the proposals selected for funding are “Recovery timeline of spaceflight-induced central nervous system changes”, which will be headed up by Rachael Seidler at the University of Florida, and “Investigating long-term structural and functional changes in the eye and brain after spaceflight”, a project being led by Brandon Macias at the Johnson Space Center.
In total, NASA will provide $19.3 million over the next one to five years to fund the various proposals it has selected.
In supporting this research, NASA intends to increase the likelihood of astronauts successfully completing their missions, as well as working to support their long-term health and wellbeing.
National Geographic recently explored how the credentials to become an astronaut have evolved over the years from early space exploration to now. Aside from needing to be in peak physical condition to undergo the rigors of space travel, the astronauts of the future will need to be able to cope psychologically with long periods of isolation.
Putting together the correct team for each mission, particularly those that will involve spending long periods on a base or travelling through space, will be crucial too.
Know someone who’s mad about space? Buy space jewelry for them so they can show off their passion with style.