Dr. Esther Beltran of FSI To Serve As Deputy Director And Scientist For New NASA SSERVI Award “REVEALS”
A new NASA-SSERVI award has come to Florida Space Institute-University of Central Florida. The new node is called REVEALS (Radiation Effects on Volatiles and Exploration of Asteroids and Lunar Surfaces). Solar System Exploration Virtual Research Institute (SSERVI) is a NASA program dedicated to Exploration of Solar System, initiative out of NASA-Ames, California. For this particular call NASA required interconnecting with Human Exploration Research (HRP) objectives, HRP is based in NASA-Johnson Space Center, Houston. This announcement was created to specifically provide complementary and innovative ways on how to study the solar system that can help and be useful for Human Exploration.
REVEALS, with a budget of $5 Million, node leverages a cohesive interdisciplinary team of investigators to provide an integrated systems-level approach to understanding global effects of radiation from the chemical evolution of volatiles to human protection in future space missions. This newly awarded SSERVI node will provide a resource for many other opportunities to explore our solar system. It will also help pave the way providing important answers to those stumbling blocks in current human space exploration unlocking the path for the future of all Space Exploration missions.
As a member of SSERVI, REVEALS team will explore the fundamental, applied, and operational aspects correlated with radiation processing of natural regolith and man-made composite materials.
The interaction of ionizing radiation and micro-meteorites impactors on celestial surfaces can supply a varied amount of volatiles that can be relevant for “in situ resource utilization” (ISRU), e.g. water, methane. Also the constant radiation assault poses clear risks for humans. These risks and strategic knowledge gaps must be understood, quantified, and mitigated to provide space crew safety operations for humans to be able to conduct their missions. These factors are taken into consideration in this new SSERVI REVEALS node by the development of effective shielding materials, real time radiation detection systems, and radiation-hardened human habitats and spacesuits.
The REVEALS node team will focus on two interdisciplinary research themes, each compromised of multiple tasks that will be carried out in an integrated fashion with a systems perspective.
The REVEALS Center is based at the Georgia Institute of Technology (GT), Dr. Thomas Orlando serving as Director.
Dr. Esther Beltran, at UCF-FSI, will serve as Deputy Director and also as a scientist. Dr. Beltran is an occupational/aerospace medicine doctor specialized in Space Crew Safety. She will particularly oversee the Space Crew Safety and Human Space Exploration along with the other interdisciplinary connections that need to be made for the integration of the research node overall. Dr. Kaden and Dr. Bennett will carry out experiments on radiation here at UCF-Physics Department.