Monday, April 20, 2009

UCF prof wins NASA grant

A University of Central Florida professor has won one of a dozen NASA grants supporting research into the health and performance of astronauts during long-duration spaceflights, the agency announced today.

Eduardo Salas, a psychology professor, will be the principal investigator for a study titled, "Optimizing Crew Performance in Long Duration Space Exploration: Best Practices for Team Training and Cohesion Measurement."

Salas's expertise includes fostering teamwork, designing training techniques and decision-making under stress, according to his UCF bio. He is also the Human Systems Integration Research Department program director at the university's Institute for Simulation and Training.

A NASA press release did not break down the amounts of individual grants, but all 12 totaled nearly $16 million over three to four years.

The grants were awarded by NASA and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, or NSBRI, a NASA-funded consortium of institutions studying health risks related to long-duration spaceflight, according to the press release.

Salas's proposal was one of 54 submitted in response to a research announcement titled "Research and Technology Development to Support Crew Health and Performance in Space Exploration Missions," NASA said

His grant falls under the purview of NASA's Human Research Program, which studies potential health issues in space and ways to mitigate them during and after missions.

You can see the full list of grant winners here.

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