Substantial Cuts Ahead For NASA Space Life Science?

Space Biology Advocates Join Forces in Talks with Capitol Hill, ASGSB/AIAA

"The Centrifuge is a unique variable gravity research device: there is simply no way on the ground to determine the long term risks of Lunar and Mars gravity to living systems. In addition, key questions about the use of artificial gravity as a countermeasure to the detrimental effects of long-term diminished gravity as they apply to human explorers cannot be clearly answered without the Centrifuge."

Bush's Vision for Space Means Big Cuts Elsewhere at NASA, Washington Post

"Also on the block is the space station's Centrifuge Accommodation Module, an eight-foot-diameter device under construction for NASA at Ames by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency."

ASGSB Governing Board Visits Capitol Hill in March to Share the ASGSB Message, American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology

"Although the President's FY05 budget request for Human Health and Performance of $423M reflected a slight rise from the FY04 budget, the budget request drops in FY06 to $299M and remains low for FY07 through FY10 ($303M, $320M, $328M, $340M). These projections are inconsistent with the critical role that biology plays in space exploration."

Biologists identify chemicals affecting plant growth in response to gravity, University of California Riverside

"A team of biologists from the University of California, Riverside has used chemical genomics to identify novel compounds that affect the ability of plants to alter their direction of growth in response to gravity, a phenomenon known as gravitropism. The team's chemical genomics approach focuses on the use of small molecules to modify or disrupt the functions of specific genes or proteins. NASA supported the research."

Editor's note: This is the sort of research NASA is most likely going to stop funding. Such research could have applications in the design of advanced life support systems for use in microgravity or in reduced gravity locations such as the Moon and Mars. Word on how NASA will alter its life science research program aboard the ISS so as to align it with the VSE will be announced in April. The fate of the Centrifuge Facility which, in many ways, was the Hubble analog for space biologists in its unprecedented ability to provide a range of simulated G loads on research specimens is likely to be eliminated - or delayed so much as to be effectively cancelled. Stay tuned.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on March 16, 2005 1:57 PM.

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