The US space agency has signed a contract with four teams of scientists to investigate our solar system. Research scheduled for the next five years will be funded entirely by NASA.

While NASA employs many of its own researchers, it also often benefits from the help of universities and nonprofits that help agencies in a variety of projects. At one time, even a special Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) was created specifically for this purpose, designed for independent scientists who are engaged in the study of our solar system.

Now four new teams of scientists have been invited to work on different projects and will study Mars’ Phobos and Deimos, as well as the moon and asteroid belt, and will be involved in a number of other space exploration projects.

The first team is a University of Colorado scientist who has been involved in robotics, cosmology, astrophysics and helio-physiology with the intention of deepening on manned space exploration. Another team was assigned to the TREX (Survey and Exploration Tools) project, and his task will be to develop tools and methods for the exploration of extraterrestrial celestial bodies covered by dust such as asteroids and moons.

A third team from the Institute of Technology in Georgia will study the impact of radiation on man-made composites. Also check that modern detectors can minimize the risk of human exposure to harmful radiation. The last team will be working on the ESPRESSO (Exploration Science Pathfinder Research for Enhancing Solar System Observations) project and will help NASA better understand dangerous events that could be a threat to astronauts and space exploration robots.

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