NASA Aligns Commercial, Academic Researchers for Space Exploration Research Program

Nine teams of researchers have been selected by NASA to join a collaborative organization that will work on a virtual setting to support the agency’s human space exploration programs.

The Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute will bring together U.S. scientists and international partners to help NASA study the moon, near-Earth asteroids and space environments, NASA said Tuesday.

Participating research groups will receive $12 million in combined annual funding over five years, NASA says.

Jim Green, director of the planetary science division for NASA’s science mission directorate, said the agency aims for the collaboration to help with human and robotic missions to the solar system.

NASA picked the winning teams from the commercial sector, academia, nonprofits and the government through a competitive peer-review evaluation.

The institute is based at the Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. and backed by NASA’s planetary science and advanced exploration systems divisions.

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