mechanisms typically provide significant multiyear support and are accompanied by recognition and prestige. Examples from which NASA could model such an award program include the NSF CAREER Award, the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Program, the Army Research Office Young Investigator Program, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award, and DOE Early Career Research Program.
• Graduate student training opportunities. NASA should consider multiple mechanisms to attract graduate students to space research. Opportunities could include small student research awards, such as the one supported by NASA through the American College of Sports Medicine; research internship opportunities in NASA laboratories; and predoctoral training stipends, such as the NIH predoctoral National Research Service Award.
In addition to the NIH model, the National Space Biomedical Research Institute has a very successful training program13 that could be expanded. It includes (1) summer internships for undergraduate, graduate, and medical students; (2) graduate education opportunities, which are currently offered through Texas A&M University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and (3) postdoctoral research fellowships. Similar programs, if tailored to the concerns of extended-duration spaceflight, could also provide meaningful opportunities for management personnel, engineers, physicians, and astronauts to expand their understanding of the research payloads for which they are responsible. Moreover, such programs could include combinations of virtual and traditional modes of instruction.
A strong pipeline of intellectual capital can be developed by modeling a training and mentoring program after other successful programs in the life and physical sciences. A critical number of investigators is required to sustain a healthy and productive scientific community. Building a program in life and physical sciences would benefit from ensuring that an adequate number of investigators, including flight and ground-based investigators, are participating in research that will enable future space exploration.
• Educational programs and training opportunities effectively expand the pool of graduate students, scientists, and engineers who will be prepared to improve the translational application of fundamental and applied life and physical sciences research to space exploration needs.
Complex systems problems of the type that crewed missions will increasingly encounter will need to be solved with integrated teams that are likely to include scientists from a number of disciplines, as well as engineers, mission analysts, and technology developers. The interplay between and among the life and physical sciences and engineering, along with a strong focus on cost-effectiveness, will require multidisciplinary approaches. Multidisciplinary translational programs can link the science to the gaps in mission capabilities through planned and implemented data collection mechanisms.
Research Team Approach
A life and physical sciences research program capable of addressing the complex problems posed by space exploration must include both horizontal integration across multiple disciplines and vertical translation of fundamental discoveries to practical application. The dependencies across research objectives, particularly across the broad array of research within the life and physical sciences, can best be defined and addressed through a team research approach. As an example, the loss of bone and muscle tissue will remain a barrier to prolonged spaceflight until effective countermeasures are developed. Although microgravity per se triggers bone and muscle tissue loss because of the reduction in mechanical loading forces, losses are likely exacerbated by additional factors in the space environment (e.g., nutrition, hormonal disruptions, psychological stress). Thus, the development of effec-