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“I want to help the Native community get better representation and show that we can help Native citizens get into aerospace engineering, mathematics, or [other STEM career fields]. And the Cherokee and Choctaw Nations are trying to do the same thing on their reservations. They have amazing education networks, so when I realized what they were doing, I wanted to help them be successful [in their efforts] so that they could inspire other tribes to do the same thing.
“When I was talking with the Principal Chiefs of the Cherokee and Choctaw Nations, they said, ‘We need to start making decisions for our people seven generations from now.’ So, they started looking at emerging technologies, and aviation [with a focus on] advanced air mobility was one of those areas. They said, ‘We want to make sure our youth are enabled and equipped to start fielding some of these areas,’ and that’s how I want to help inspire people too.
“Everyone needs an anchor from their community to motivate and inspire them to move forward. I want to be a motivational anchor for the next generation of minorities. You look at minorities, and we often don’t have as many anchors from our past to make us believe [our big dreams are possible]. Providing that legacy now and saying, ‘Hey, I can be an emotional anchor to somebody in my community or with my background [in] two, three, four generations from now,’ and building something outside of myself – that’s what motivates me. I think that’s how we inspire, by leaving those anchors in our timeline.”
— David Zahn, NASA Research Pilot, Ames Research Center
Image Credit: NASA / Dominic Hart
Interviewer: NASA / Tahira Allen
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NASA Selects 11 Space Biology Research Projects to Inform Biological Research During Future Lunar Exploration MissionsBy NASA
4 min read
NASA Selects 11 Space Biology Research Projects to Inform Biological Research During Future Lunar Exploration Missions
NASA announces the award of eleven grants or cooperative agreements for exciting new Space Biology research that will advance NASA’s understanding of how exposure to lunar dust/regolith impact both plant and animal systems.
As human exploration prepares to go beyond Earth Orbit, Space Biology is advancing its research priorities towards work that will enable organisms to Thrive In DEep Space (TIDES). The ultimate goal of the TIDES initiative is to enable long-duration space missions and improve life on Earth through innovative research. Space Biology supported research will enable the study of the effects of environmental stressors in spaceflight on model organisms, that will both inform future fundamental research, as well as provide valuable information that will better enable human exploration of deep space.
Proposals for these eleven projects were submitted in response to ROSES-2022 Program Element E.9 “Space Biology Research Studies” (NNH22ZDA001N-SBR). This funding opportunity solicited ground studies using plant or animal models (or their associated microbes) to characterize the responses of these organisms to lunar regolith simulant similar to that found at NASA candidate landing sites for future lunar exploration missions. This funding opportunity represents a collaboration between the Space Biology Program and NASA’s Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Division within the Exploration Architecture, Integration, and Science (EAIS) Directorate at the NASA Johnson Space Center, who will be supplying the lunar regolith simulant required for these studies.
Selected studies include (but are not limited to) efforts to 1) test the ability of lunar regolith to act as a growth substrate for crop-producing plants including grains, tomatoes and potatoes, 2) understand how growth in lunar regolith influences plant and microbial interactions, and how in turn, these interactions affect plant development and health, 3) identify and test bioremediation methods/techniques to enhance the ability of regolith to act as a growth substrate, and 4) understand how lunar dust exposure impacts host/microbial interactions in human-analogous model systems under simulated microgravity conditions.
Eleven investigators will conduct these Space Biology investigations from ten institutions in nine states. Eight of these awards are to investigators new to the Space Biology Program. When fully implemented, approximately $2.3 million will be awarded in fiscal years 2024-2027.
Plant Research Investigations
Simon Gilroy, Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, Madison
Tailoring Lunar Regolith to Plant Nutrition
Aymeric Goyer, Ph.D. Oregon State University
Growth, physiology and nutrition dynamics of potato plants grown on lunar regolith
Christopher Mason, Ph.D. Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Leveraging the microbes of Earth’s extreme environments for sustainable plant growth
in lunar regolith
Thomas Juenger, Ph.D. University of Texas, Austin
Engineering plant-microbial interactions for improved plant growth on simulated lunar regolith
Plant Early Career Research Investigations
Miranda Haus, Ph.D. Michigan State University
The sources and extent of root stunting during growth in lunar highland regolith and its impact on legume symbioses
Joseph Lynch, Ph.D. West Virginia University
The metabolomic impact of lunar regolith-based substrate on tomatoes
Jared Broddrick, Ph.D. NASA Ames Research Center
Phycoremediation of lunar regolith towards in situ agriculture
Shuyang Zhen, Ph.D. Texas A&M AgriLife Research
Investigating the impact of foliar and root-zone exposure to lunar regolith simulant on lettuce growth and stress physiology in a hydroponic system
Plant Small Scale Research Investigations
Kathryn Fixen, Ph.D. University of Minnesota
The impact of lunar regolith on nitrogen fixation in a plant growth promoting rhizobacterium
Animal Research Investigations
Cheryl Nickerson, Arizona State University
Effects of Lunar Dust Simulant on Human 3-D Biomimetic Intestinal Models, Enteric Microorganisms, and Infectious Disease Risks
Afshin Beheshti, Ph.D. NASA Ames Research CenterSpaceflight and Regolith Induced Mitochondrial Stress Mitigated by miRNA-based Countermeasures
Last Updated Nov 21, 2023 Related Terms
Biological & Physical Sciences Space Biology View the full article
1 min read
Newest Astronaut Candidate Class Visits NASA’s Glenn Research Center
Members of NASA’s 2021 astronaut candidate class visited NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland on Oct. 5 and 6 to learn more about the scope of work at the center. NASA Glenn’s world-class facilities and expertise in power, propulsion, and communications are crucial to advancing the agency’s Artemis program.
Dr. Rickey Shyne, NASA Glenn Research Center’s director of Research and Technology, briefs astronaut candidates on Glenn’s core competencies.Credit: NASA/Jef Janis
The astronaut candidates, accompanied by Shannon Walker, deputy chief of the Astronaut Office, toured several facilities at both NASA Glenn campuses – Lewis Field in Cleveland and Neil Armstrong Test Facility in Sandusky, Ohio. Some of the key facilities included the Electric Propulsion and Power Laboratory, Aerospace Communications Facility, NASA Electric Aircraft Testbed, and Space Environments Complex.
During a tour in the Exercise Countermeasures Lab, NASA Glenn Research Center’s Kelly Gilkey, right, discusses the features of a harness prototype being tested for exercising in space. Credit: NASA/Jef Janis
The visit integrated briefings with senior leadership and opportunities to interact with staff, including early-career employees.
Astronaut candidates and NASA Glenn Research Center staff stand at the top of the Zero Gravity Research Facility’s drop tower. Credit: NASA/Jef Janis As part of their rigorous two-year training, these future explorers are visiting each NASA center and learning how to prepare for NASA’s missions of tomorrow.
17 min read Previous Issues of AeroSpace Frontiers
Article 9 months ago View the full article
By European Space Agency
At the ESA Space Summit in Seville, ESA, Airbus and Voyager Space have signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining their collaboration for the Starlab space station in the post-International Space Station (ISS) era.
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Six Growing Beyond Earth Student Teams to Present at the 2023 American Association for Gravitational and Space Research ConferenceBy NASA
1 min read
Six Growing Beyond Earth Student Teams to Present at the 2023 American Association for Gravitational and Space Research Conference
To join Growing Beyond Earth, visit us www.fairchildgarden.org/gbe. Credit: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Congratulations to the six Growing Beyond Earth high school teams who will present their original research at this year’s American Association for Gravitational and Space Research Conference in Washington D.C.! The teams represent Biotech@Richmond Heights (Miami FL), Herbert Henry Dow High School (Midland, MI), iMater Preparatory Academy High School (Hialeah, FL), and Institute for Collaborative Education (New York, NY). The student projects include:
Exploring Autonomous Sensing and Watering Systems, Plant Growth and Gene Expression in Simulating Microgravity, 3D Printed Materials Property Impact on Plant Growth, and Optimizing Light to Maximum Anthocyanin Content in Plants. Growing Beyond Earth is a classroom-based citizen science project designed to advance NASA research on growing plants in space. For more information or to get involved, please visit: www.fairchildgarden.org/gbe.
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Last Updated Nov 08, 2023 Related Terms
Citizen Science Earth Science View the full article
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