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Space Radiation Research

Space radiation research is performed throughout the United States and abroad and in cooperation with other governmental agencies, as well as with non-profit and commercial entities. Intramural research is performed in laboratories at NASA's field centers.

Space Radiation Tissue Sharing Forum

Current Space Radiation Funded Projects

Click on the link to a list of NASA Space Radiation Program Investigators funded during 2008 and beyond. The list is derived from the information contained in the Task Book. (Click on the title of the project for a link to an abstract or description of the projects.)

The Task Book is an online database of research projects that includes project descriptions, annual research results, and a listing of publications resulting from this NASA-funded research. Use the Advanced Search option to check the appropriate boxes to search for space radiation projects funded through the Human Research Program, Fundamental Space Biology, and NSBRI mechanisms

NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System (NSPIRES)

Information about current and past research announcements and proposals selected may be found at the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System (NSPIRES) site.

It is planned for research results to be available at this site as well.

NASA Specialized Centers of Research (NSCOR)

A NASA Specialized Center of Research (NSCOR) differs from an individual grant award in that it incorporates a number of complementary research projects that focus on a single research area.

Principal Investigator Location NSCOR Link Related Links
2009 Selections
Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff New York University School of Medicine NSCOR: The contribution of non-targeted effects in HZE cancer risk  
Albert Fornace Georgetown University NSCOR: Space Radiation and Intestinal Tumorigenesis: Risk Assessment and Counter Measure Development The Albert Fornace Laboratory
Greg Nelson Loma Linda University Medical Center NSCOR: Charged Particle Radiation and Resultant Oxidative Stress Elicit Deleterious Functional Changes in the Central Nervous System  
Robert Ulrich University of Texas Medical Branch NSCOR: NASA Specialized Center of Research on Radiation Carcinogenesis  
2010 Selections
David Kirsch Duke University Medical Center NSCOR: Lung Cancer Risk from HZE Ions  
John Minna University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center NSCOR Risk Estimates and Mechanisms of Lung Cancer Pathogenesis after Space Radiation UTSWs Lung Cancer Explorer

About the UTSW NSCOR

Ya Wang Emory University NSCOR Mechanisms underlying the risk of HZE particle-induced solid tumor development Emory NSCOR


2014-15 Selections
Limoli, Charles PhD. University of California-Irvine Mechanisms Underlying Charged Particle-Induced Disruption of CNS Function  
Weil, Mike PhD. Colorado State University NASA Specialized Center of Research on Carcinogenesis  
Fornace, Albert PhD. Georgetown University Space Radiation and Gastrointestinal Cancer: A Comprehensive Strategy for Risk Assessment and Model Development  

International Space Agencies

European Space Agency (ESA)
Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
Russian Space Agency (RSA)

Radiobiology Facilities

In order to simulate the heavy ions of galactic cosmic rays found beyond the protective atmosphere of the Earth, researchers use particle accelerators to expose cells, tissues, and animals to irradiation by ions, protons, and neutrons. They also use irradiation to test shielding materials.

Facilities used in space radiation research include many supported by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Accelerators and facilities

Brookhaven National Laboratory
NASA Space Radiation Laboratory
Electron Beam Ion Source
Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Large Hadron Collider
High Energy Physics
Low Dose Program
NASA/DOE Low Dose Grants

Additional domestic and international facilities used by NASA space radiation investigators include the following:

Loma Linda University Medical Center
Gesellschaft f�r Schwerionenforschung (GSI)
Darmstadt, Germany
National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS)
Chiba, Japan

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