NASA and Baylor College of Medicine have entered into a potential 12-year, $246 million agreement to establish a research institute that will work to address health risks associated with human spaceflight.
The space agency said Thursday the future NASA Translational Research Institute will work to produce new approaches, treatments, countermeasures or technologies that could aid astronaut health on long-duration space missions such as the Journey to Mars program.
“It’s fitting on the 47th anniversary of humanity’s first moon landing that we’re announcing a new human spaceflight research institute that will help reduce risks for our astronauts on the next giant leap — our Journey to Mars,” said Marshall Porterfield, director of space life and physical sciences research and applications at NASA.
NASA’s Human Research Program will manage the work done at NTRI to establish research leadership in translational human performance as well as biomedical, environmental, cognitive and behavioral science, the agency added.
NASA noted that NTRI will look to employ a “bench to spaceflight” research model to give scientists the opportunity to work with research laboratories within and outside NASA then apply knowledge gleaned from laboratory experiments and clinical trials to address human exploration health and performance.
The California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology will serve as major subcontractors and perform work at the Texas Medical Center Innovation Institute.
Work under the agreement will begin in October and could extend until September 2028.