NASA Space Biology Program Awards Four Grants for Lunar Orbit Mission Experiments

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Friday, February 15, 2019

NASA's Space Biology Program will award four grants to applicants who submitted proposals to NASA Research Announcement NNH18ZTT001N-EM1  “Appendix A: Orion Exploration Mission-1 Research Pathfinder for Beyond Low Earth Orbit Space Biology Investigations”.


The announcement solicited research proposals for hypothesis-driven Space Biology investigations to be flown on the Orion Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1), an unmanned lunar orbital flight scheduled to launch out of the Kennedy Space Center in early-2020. The Orion spacecraft, which will be used for human spaceflight on future missions, will orbit the moon one or more times before returning to Earth, with an anticipated mission duration lasting between twenty-one and forty days from launch to splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. Space Biology will use this opportunity to conduct investigations that study how life responds to the space environment beyond low Earth orbit. The Moon is about 250,000 miles from the Earth, which is about 1,000 times more than the distance from Earth to the International Space Station, and offers a true deep space radiation environment outside the Van Allen Belts.


Awards will be made to four investigators from four institutions. When fully implemented, the awards will total ~$1.6 million in fiscal years 2019-2022. These projects will measure the effects of deep space on plant seeds and microbes, and provide knowledge to enable exploration technology development. Additional information and the names of awardees can be found at:


The Space Biology Program is managed by the Space Life and Physical Sciences Research and Applications Division in NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at the agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C. 


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