Space and Astro Biology

Space & Astro Biology NASA seeks to understand the nature and distribution of habitable environments in the Universe, and the biology of humans, plants and animals in space vessels, space suits, and in potentially harsh environments beyond Earth. This includes exploring for past and future habitable environments and space biology topics ranging from microgravity, cell research, spaceflight hardware, weightlessness, and gravity. NASA is planning a series of missions linked by powerful new technologies and complementary approaches to shared science goals. Some of these involve research and development taking place in Arizona, and you have the potential to participate through a Space Grant Undergraduate Internship!

Can you imagine yourself working with a faculty mentor…




  • Studying the effects of zero-gravity on muscles and other organ systems?
  • Characterizing micro-organisms for specific functions?
  • Designing an inflatable Mars autonomous greenhouse?
  • Assessing the resistance of bacteria in simulated impact conditions?
  • Developing biological inspired robotic systems for locating chemical sources?
  • Experiments with acquatic ecosystems and the space environment?
  • Exploring terraforming of Mars?
  • Investigating the effects of spaceflight on C. elegans and developed links to human physiology?
  • Demonstrating the effects of space flight on the human Vestibular System?
  • Observing life (thermophillic bacteria) at high temperatures?
  • Searching for highly reactive organic systems on Europa?
  • Identifying bioreactive barriers for the containment of heavy metals?
  • Commissioning total body irradiation?
  • Evaluating Titania as a model biomaterial?
  • Testing disinfectants for water treatment aboard space vessels?