NASA News - NASA, NSBRI Select 29 Proposals To Support Crew Health On Missions

WASHINGTON -- NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) and the National
Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) of Houston will fund 29
proposals to help investigate questions about astronaut health and
performance on future deep space exploration missions.

The selected proposals are from 25 institutions in 11 states and will
receive a total of about $26 million over a one- to three-year period.

A major area of emphasis for both HRP and NSBRI has been the recently
identified issue of visual impairment in astronauts during and after
long-duration spaceflight. In addition, eight of the selected
proposals will examine several facets of this poorly understood syndrome.

HRP and NSBRI research provides knowledge and technologies to improve
human health and performance during space exploration and develops
possible countermeasures for problems experienced during space
travel. The organizations' goals are to help astronauts complete
their challenging missions successfully and preserve astronauts'
health throughout their lives.

HRP quantifies crew health and performance risks during spaceflight
and develops strategies that mission planners and system developers
can use to monitor and mitigate the risks. These studies often lead
to advancements in understanding and treating illnesses in patients on Earth.

The 29 projects were selected from 104 proposals received in response
to the research announcement "Research and Technology Development to
Support Crew Health and Performance in Space Exploration Missions."
Scientific and technical experts from academia and government
reviewed the proposals. NASA will manage 14 of the projects; NSBRI
will manage 15.

NSBRI is a NASA-funded consortium of institutions studying health
risks related to long-duration spaceflight. The Institute's science,
technology and education projects take place at more than 60
institutions across the United States.

For a complete list of the selected principal investigators,
organizations and proposals, visit:


For information about NASA's Human Research Program, visit:


For information about NSBRI's science, technology and education
programs, visit:


For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:



SpaceX Dragon Transports Student Experiments to Space Station

WASHINGTON -- The SpaceX Dragon capsule, which on Tuesday became the
first commercially developed and built spacecraft to launch to the
International Space Station, is carrying among its cargo a suite of
15 science experiments designed by students.

Known collectively as Aquarius, the experiments will assess the
effects of microgravity on physical, chemical and biological systems.
The students have been immersed in every facet of research, from
definition of the investigation to experiment design, proposal
writing and a formal NASA proposal review for selection of flight experiments.

"This unique student activity adds a new dimension to the
International Space Station and its role as America's only orbiting
national laboratory," said Leland Melvin, NASA's associate
administrator for Education. "It also clearly demonstrates that
students still can actively participate in NASA microgravity
opportunities in the post-shuttle era."

Aquarius is sponsored by the Student Space Flight Experiments Program
(SSEP), which is a cooperative venture by the National Center for
Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) and NanoRacks LLC, a
national science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)
education initiative. The organizations work together to give 300 to
1,000 students across a community the opportunity to design and
propose microgravity experiments to fly in low Earth orbit.

The first two SSEP payloads flew in 2011 aboard space shuttles
Endeavour and Atlantis on the STS-134 and STS-135 missions
respectively. This third round of experiments will be the first to be
conducted in orbit by space station astronauts.

The announcement of opportunity for Aquarius was released in July
2011. It elicited responses from 12 communities in nine states and
the District of Columbia. A total of 779 student teams, with 41,200
members ranging from fifth graders to community college, submitted
proposals. After a formal two-step review process in fall 2011, the
final 15 flight experiments were selected. They all passed a formal
NASA flight safety review, clearing the final hurdle on their journey
to launch.

This is one of many programs that use NASA's science and exploration
missions to encourage students to pursue a STEM-centric school
curriculum. Building a robust cadre of scientists and engineers for
the future is a high priority for NASA's Office of Education.

The Dragon flight to the International Space Station is the second
demonstration mission for SpaceX under NASA's Commercial Orbital
Transportation Services (COTS) program. The demonstration flight is
intended to lead to regular resupply missions to the space station.

To learn more about the SSEP, including future opportunities for
student participation, visit:


To learn more about NASA's education program, visit:


To learn more about the International Space Station, visit:



Statement by John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, On Launch of Falcon 9 Rocket and Dragon Spacecraft

WASHINGTON -- Following Tuesday's launch of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket
and Dragon spacecraft, John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President
for Science and Technology, issued the following statement:

"Congratulations to the teams at SpaceX and NASA for this morning's
successful launch of the Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air
Force Station in Florida. Every launch into space is a thrilling
event, but this one is especially exciting because it represents the
potential of a new era in American spaceflight. Partnering with U.S.
companies such as SpaceX to provide cargo and eventually crew service
to the International Space Station is a cornerstone of the
president's plan for maintaining America's leadership in space. This
expanded role for the private sector will free up more of NASA's
resources to do what NASA does best -- tackle the most demanding
technological challenges in space, including those of human space
flight beyond low Earth orbit. I could not be more proud of our NASA
and SpaceX scientists and engineers, and I look forward to following
this and many more missions like it."

For more information on the SpaceX flight, visit:


For more information on the Office of Science and Technology Policy, visit:



SpaceX Launches NASA Demonstration Mission to Space Station

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The second demonstration mission for NASA's
Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program is under
way as SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft lifted off
Tuesday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 3:44 a.m. EDT.

"I want to congratulate SpaceX for its successful launch and salute
the NASA team that worked alongside them to make it happen," NASA
Administrator Charles Bolden said. "Today marks the beginning of a
new era in exploration; a private company has launched a spacecraft
to the International Space Station that will attempt to dock there
for the first time. And while there is a lot of work ahead to
successfully complete this mission, we are certainly off to good
start. Under President Obama's leadership, the nation is embarking
upon an ambitious exploration program that will take us farther into
space than we have ever traveled before, while helping create
good-paying jobs right here in the United States of America."

The Dragon capsule will conduct a series of checkout procedures to
test and prove its systems, including the capability to rendezvous
and berth with the International Space Station. On Thursday, May 24,
Dragon will perform a flyby of the space station at a distance of
approximately 1.5 miles to validate the operation of sensors and
flight systems necessary for a safe rendezvous and approach. Live
NASA TV coverage beginning at 2:30 a.m.

Following analysis of the flyby by NASA and SpaceX managers, the
Dragon capsule will be cleared to rendezvous and berth with the space
station on Friday, May 25, marking the first time a commercial
company has attempted this feat. The Expedition 31 crew on board the
station will use the orbiting complex's robotic arm to capture Dragon
and install it on the bottom side of the Harmony node. NASA TV will
provide live coverage beginning at 2 a.m.

"This flight is an important milestone as NASA and SpaceX develop the
next generation of U.S. spacecraft to carry the critically important
experiments, payloads and supplies to our remarkable laboratory in
space," said William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for NASA's
Human Exploration Operations Directorate at the agency's Headquarters
in Washington.

SpaceX and Orbital Sciences, which will perform its own test flight
later this year, have been working under NASA's COTS program, which
provides investments to stimulate the commercial space industry in
America. Once the companies have successfully completed their test
flights, they will begin delivering regular cargo shipments to the station.

"NASA is working with private industry in an unprecedented way,
cultivating innovation on the path toward maintaining America's
leadership in space exploration," said Philip McAlister, director for
NASA's Commercial Spaceflight Development.

In parallel to COTS, NASA's Commercial Crew Program is helping spur
innovation and development of new spacecraft and launch vehicles from
the commercial industry to develop safe, reliable and cost-effective
capabilities to transport astronauts to low Earth orbit and the space station.

NASA also is developing the Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System
(SLS), a crew capsule and heavy-lift rocket that will provide an
entirely new capability for human exploration beyond low Earth orbit.
Designed to be flexible for launching spacecraft for crew and cargo
missions, SLS and Orion will expand human presence beyond low Earth
orbit and enable new missions of exploration across the solar system.

For up-to-date SpaceX mission information and a schedule of NASA TV
coverage, visit:


For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming
video, visit:


For more information about NASA's commercial space programs, visit:


For an interactive overview of NASA's commercial space programs, visit:


For an interactive overview of the future of American human
spaceflight, visit:



New NASA App 2.0 Released For iPhone, iPod Touch

WASHINGTON -- NASA released Monday an updated version of the free NASA
App for iPhone and iPod touch. The NASA App 2.0 includes several new
features and a completely redesigned user interface that improves the
way people can explore and experience NASA content on their mobile devices.

A team at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.,
completely rebuilt the NASA App for iPhone and iPod touch. It now has
a fast and intuitive interface for the approximately 4.7 million
people who've downloaded it so far. Other new features of NASA App
2.0 include weather forecasts in the spacecraft sighting
opportunities section; maps, information and links to all of the NASA
visitor centers; a section about NASA's programs, as well as the
ability to print, save and access favorite items, and bookmark
images. The NASA App 2.0 requires iOS 5.0 or later.

"This is our first major redesign of the NASA App for iPhone since our
initial release in 2009," said Jerry Colen, NASA App project manager
at Ames. "We are really excited about this release and think users
are going to love the new interface and features."

All of the NASA Apps for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android showcase
a wealth of NASA content, including thousands of images, videos
on-demand, live streaming of NASA Television, the agency's Third Rock
online radio station, mission and launch information, featured
content, stories and breaking news. Users also can find sighting
opportunities for the International Space Station and track the
position of the orbiting laboratory. App users also easily can share
NASA content with their friends and followers on Facebook, Twitter or
via email. In total, the apps have been downloaded by more than 8.8
million people.

iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and the Apple App Store are trademarks of
Apple Inc. Use of these trademarks is subject to Apple permission.
Android is a trademark of Google Inc. Use of this trademark is
subject to Google permission.

For more information about the new NASA App 2.0 for iPhone and other
NASA Apps, visit:



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