The Department of Health and Human Services and NASA have inked an interagency agreement to conduct “scientific research that would benefit humanity on Earth and on individuals traveling to the Moon and beyond,” Eric Hargan, Deputy Secretary of HHS, said Thursday.
The space agency’s top research interests include “cardiac rhythm problems, inadequate nutrition and food systems, adverse cognitive or behavioral conditions, and the detection and treatment of unknown microbes,” Hargan said. Also on the wish list: “autonomous portable medical capabilities for remote locations, long shelf life and manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, and improved tools to deal with isolation and confinement.”
Also covered under the new umbrella agreement are the National Institutes of Health, which already had its own pact with NASA, along with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA); the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the Food and Drug Administration; and the Administration for Community Living.
Each of the agencies will sign individual agreements for each new research project. BARDA, for example is currently collaborating on a project to determine risks associated with space radiation.