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NASA Funds Research to Improve Health of Astronauts

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA is funding a pair of research and development (R&D) projects by Sachi Bioworks and Soterix Medical aimed at improving the health of astronauts flying to the International Space Station and on deep-space missions.

Each company received a Phase II award worth up to $750,000 under the space agency’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. NASA previously provided smaller Phase I awards for the companies to begin R&D work.

Sachi Bioworks, which is located in Boulder, Colo., is working on pharmaceutical counter measures to protect astronauts on deep space missions from the harmful effects of radiation, which include the suppression of the immune system.


  • Parabolic Arc
  • May 30, 2022
2021 in Review: Highlights from NASA in Silicon Valley
Ingenuity Mars helicopter flies on the Red Planet. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS)

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — Join us as we look back at the highlights of 2021 at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley.

1) NASA’s water-hunting Moon rover, the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, made great strides this year. The VIPER team successfully completed practice runs of the full-scale assembly of the Artemis program’s lunar rover in VIPER’s new clean room. Two rounds of egress testing let rover drivers practice exiting the lander and rolling onto the rocky surface of the Moon. NASA also announced the landing site selected for the robotic rover, which will be delivered to the Nobile region of the Moon’s South Pole in late 2023 as part of the Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative. NASA also chose eight new VIPER science team members and their proposals to expand and complement VIPER’s already existing science team and planned investigations. This year’s progress contributed to VIPER’s completion of its Critical Design Review, turning the mission’s focus toward construction of the rover beginning in late 2022.


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  • January 9, 2022
Soyuz-2 to Launch 38 Spacecraft from 18 Countries on March 20
Soyuz-2 rocket lifts off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome with 36 OneWeb satellites. (Credit: Arianespace)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — On March 20, a launch of the Soyuz-2 launch vehicle with the Fregat upper stage is scheduled from the Baikonur Cosmodrome that will deliver 38 spacecraft (SC) from 18 countries into three sun-synchronous orbits:


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  • March 13, 2021