FY 2002 Biological and Physical Research Enterprise White Paper
From: NASA HQ
Posted: Monday, April 9, 2001
OFFICE OF BIOLOGICAL AND PHYSICAL RESEARCH
Acting Associate Administrator: Dr. Kathie L. Olsen, Ph.D.
Public Affairs Contact: Renee Juhans, 202/358-1712
The total Fiscal Year 2002 budget request for the Office of Biological and Physical
Research is $360.9M; this is comprised of $291.3M of formerly Science,
Aeronautics, and Technology Appropriation funding and $69.6M of formerly
Mission Support Appropriation funding.
NASA's Office of Biological and Physical Research (OBPR) was created at the
beginning of FY 2001 to affirm NASA's commitment to the essential role biology will
play in the 21
century and establish the core of biological and physical sciences
research needed to support Agency strategic objectives. OBPR was created under the
premise that revolutionary solutions to science and technology problems are likely to
emerge from scientists, clinicians, and engineers who are working at the frontiers of
their respective disciplines and are also engaged in dynamic interdisciplinary
OBPR asks questions that are basic to the future of humanity:
How do fundamental laws of nature shape the evolution of life?
How can human existence expand beyond the home planet to achieve maximum
benefits from space?
The Office pursues and disseminates the answers to these questions by:
using the space environment as a laboratory to test the fundamental principles of
physics, chemistry and biology;
conducting research to enable the safe and productive human habitation of space;
enabling and promoting commercial research in space for the benefit of life on
conducting educational outreach activities to promote public awareness of its
research efforts and results.
Additional information about OBPR may be accessed at its web site
(http://spaceresearch.nasa.gov/). NASA plans to transition management of the
International Space Station (ISS) Research Budget to OBPR in a phased approach.
Commencing in FY 2002, budget execution responsibility will be transferred from the
Office of Space Flight to OBPR. In FY 2003, budget formulation and budget execution
responsibility will be transferred to OBPR.
OBPR conducts research activities in conjunction with four other major Federal
agencies through approximately 40 partner agreements. OBPR has recently initiated a
collaboration with the National Cancer Institute on the detection and diagnosis of
disease and space-flight-induced physiological degeneration; this research will be
relevant to Earth-bound health issues. OBPR also manages 11 Commercial Space
Centers across the country.
Bioastronautics Research - Advanced Human Support Technology $31.1M
The goals of Advanced Human Support Technology (AHST) are to:
demonstrate and validate fully self-sufficient technologies for air and water
regeneration, food production, and waste recycling for long-duration space missions;
demonstrate and validate integrated, fully autonomous environmental monitoring
and control systems; and
validate human factors engineering technology and protocols to ensure maintenance
of high ground and flight crew skills during long-duration missions.
AHST also makes NASA technologies available to the private sector for Earth
applications. In FY 2002, comprehensive project plan documents for future technology
solicitations will be developed for food processing, systems engineering, and advanced
controls. AHST will continue to demonstrate key technology capabilities for human
support, such as advanced techniques for water processing, solid waste processing, air
revitalization, biomass production, food processing, and thermal control. AHST also
will continue to solicit the participation of the university community through designated
centers for research and training. One such center will focus on Advance Life Support
issues, particularly solid waste processing, with special emphasis on water storage and
recovery. Additionally, efforts will also be directed toward the development of nutrient
delivery systems for plants in a microgravity environment. Work will continue in the
area of high risk pilot studies for sensors to monitor the environment. All the efforts in
the NRA are directed toward development of technologies that will have applications for
space research, as well as improve the state-of-the art for current Earth-based
Bioastronautics Research - Biomedical Research and Countermeasures
The goals of Biomedical Research and Countermeasures (BR&C) are to conduct
research in space biomedicine that:
defines the strategies and develops the tools to reduce the risk to crew health from
defines strategies and tools to reduce risk of acute and chronic health problems,
including physiological, psychological, and behavioral issues;
will provide tools to increase crew productivity in flight, and ensure complete crew
rehabilitation for a full, healthy life on Earth; and
will transfer biomedical knowledge and technology gained through research on the
ground and in space to the Earth-based medical community.
In FY 2002, BR&C efforts will include planning for and expanding research operations of
the Crew Health Care System (CHeCS) and Human Research Facility (HRF) on the ISS
to take full advantage of growing Station capabilities. Over the next three years, 11
research projects are planned for Station increments 2 through 10. Facilities for human
research and the Microgravity Science Glove Box will be available to support this
research as part of the continuing deployment of the ISS. BR&C continues funding for
the Booster Applications Facility (BAF) construction at Brookhaven National Laboratory;
this facility will allow NASA to simulate effects from various types of space radiation.
BR&C is also planning for a possible Shuttle research flight beyond STS-107; this R2
mission is currently under review. Crew health and safety, as well as public health and
outreach, will be the BR&C highlights for this mission.
Fundamental Space Biology (formerly Fundamental Biology) $39.2M
The goals of Fundamental Space Biology (FSB) are to:
effectively use microgravity and the other characteristics of the space environment to
enhance our understanding of fundamental biological processes;
develop the foundation of fundamental biological knowledge required to enable a
long-duration human presence in space, and to provide the biological understanding
to support other biologically-related NASA activities; and
transfer biological knowledge and technology gained through research on the
ground and in space to the medical and scientific communities.
FSB will solicit flight research as part of the International Space Life Sciences Strategic
Working Group (ISLSSWG) flight solicitation and will release its annual solicitation for
ground research. Collaborative efforts with the NASA Astrobiology Program will be
planned, including the funding of research at the Astrobiology Institute. FSB will also
increase fundamental knowledge in the biological sciences and address critical
questions in crew health and safety by conducting flight investigations on the STS-107
Space Shuttle mission and aboard ISS. These include investigations of: the effects of
gravity on plant growth and physiology, the effect of the space environment on bacterial
virulence, the effect of microgravity on skeletal myofibers, avian development in space,
the effects of microgravity on bone as a function of age, changes in gene expression in
bacteria in space, and the effects of gravity on plant photosynthesis and respiration.
Physical Sciences Research (formerly Microgravity Research) $130.1M
The goals of Physical Sciences Research (PSR) are to:
carry out outstanding multi- and cross-disciplinary basic research enabled by the
space environment to address NASA's goal of advancing and communicating
develop a rigorous cross-disciplinary scientific capability, bridging the physical
sciences and biology to address NASA's human and robotic space exploration
establish the ISS facilities as unique on-orbit science laboratories addressing
targeted scientific and technological issues of high significance; and
enhance the knowledge base, benefiting Earth-based technological and industrial
In FY 2002, PSR plans to continue development and preparation of upcoming ISS flight
research and perform focused research activities on the R2 mission, which is currently
under review. Six flights will deploy research aboard the ISS, and PSR will deliver 24
payloads in FY 2002. Early ISS utilization will expand, with science investigations being
conducted with the Microgravity Science Glovebox and EXPRESS Rack. New research
projects will be selected in biotechnology, fluid physics, and materials science. PSR
also plans to create a research institute in Bioengineering through a competitive
procurement process. This will involve the direct collaboration between academic and
NASA researchers to closely integrate research at the frontiers of the biophysical
Research Integration - Space Product Development $14.5M
The Space Product Development (SPD) activity:
facilitates the use of space for the development of commercial products and services
(including appropriate supporting ground-based activities);
couples NASA and private sector technology development to the advantage of both;
incubates commercial enterprises that use space on a profit-making basis.
SPD also promotes the benefits of space-based research to industry, facilitates
industry's access to space, provides space research expertise and flight hardware, and
advocates the development of policies to encourage the commercial use of space. SPD
supports the operation of the NASA Commercial Space Centers (CSC), along with the
development of commercial flight research hardware for Space Shuttle, and ultimately
ISS payload development. SPD provides ground-based and parabolic aircraft flight
opportunities for initial commercial research efforts. As the sponsored commercial
research evolves, SPD will provide support for flight hardware associated with Space
Shuttle flight activity, and ultimately for payload development presently funded by the
Space Station office and developed for commercial research on the International Space
Station. The CSCs are partnerships of industry, universities, and local, state, and other
federal agencies engaged in commercial space research. CSCs furnish an
infrastructure that provides a cost-effective and efficient way for companies to conduct
research in space. In FY 2002, SPD will continue its support to six commercial
payloads in the fields of materials research, protein crystal growth, agriculture, and fire
safety that will be flown on STS-107. Sixteen payloads are manifested for the ISS, and
another seven commercial payloads are scheduled to fly on the Space Shuttle.
Planning will continue for additional flights as the ISS assembly progresses.
Health Research $9.4M
Space Medicine Research [$8.2M]
Occupational Health Research [$1.2M]
In FY 2001, a reorganization created the Health and Medical Office (HMO) within the
Office of the Administrator. This new office was created from the former OLMSA's
Office of Health Affairs and given additional broad responsibility for oversight and advice
on all aspects of health and medical care for the ground workforce and space crews in
training and in flight, medical quality assurance, and protection of human research
subjects and patients. The goals of Occupational Health Research (OHR) include:
improve NASA's Occupational Health program effectiveness and efficiency through
medical quality assurance and the development of an employee health longitudinal
study as part of overall knowledge management; and
ensure NASA compliance with all Federal safety and health requirements.
During FY 2002, OHR will continue: emphasizing quality assurance for its occupational
health program, supporting certification efforts for safety and health programs, and
conducting its professional education series. OHR will also continue to support the
new Health Council, and will conduct an Agencywide Occupational Health Conference
on risk assessment and management.
The goals of Space Medicine Research (SMR) are to:
ensure the health, safety, and performance of space flight crew members, in training
and in flight, for all U.S. Space Shuttle, ISS, and exploration missions; and
oversee the establishment of requirements for clinical care and medical research
and ensure the protection of human research subjects and patients.
During FY 2002, SMR's mission will be one primarily of oversight, policy review and
approval, providing advice, conducting special studies, authorizing permanent medical
waivers, and providing assurance of professional education and competency.
Research Integration - Mission Integration $0.2M
The goals of Mission Integration (MI) are: (1) provide physical, analytical, and
operations integration support for Human Space Flight missions, in order to achieve
NASA mission objectives for the science and technology communities; and (2) ensure
integrated scientific, technological, and commercial user advocacy and coordination of
requirements for the next generation of space laboratories, the ISS. These activities
include the integration, coordination, and policy planning and analysis for international
research activities within OBPR , as well as across the Agency, for ISS research.
Institutional Support $69.6M
Institutional Support (IS) represents the OBPR portion of the formerly separate Mission
Support Appropriation. The two primary goals of this budget segment are to: (1)
acquire and maintain a civil service workforce that reflects the cultural diversity of the
Nation, and is both sized and skilled consistently with accomplishing NASA's research,
development, and operational missions with innovation, excellence, and efficiency for
OBPR; and (2) ensure that the facilities critical to achieving the goals of OBPR are
constructed and continue to function effectively, efficiently, and safely, and that NASA
installations conform to requirements and initiatives for the protection of the
environment and human health.
In summary, OBPR's programs constitute a novel interdisciplinary focus that will enable
NASA to take advantage of research advances made across a diverse array of scientific
and technical fields.