Return to the Moon for Science & Exploration
This topical presentation by Program Scientist, Dr. Kevin Sato, discusses NASA’s planning for the return of humans to the Moon, the space flight vehicle platforms, and the biological and physical sciences research that will be conducted on the Moon. It has been over fifty years since humans traveled beyond low Earth orbit and stepped foot on the Moon. Now, with the flight of Artemis I, NASA has initiated humanities return to the Moon. The exploration of the Moon and its orbital environment will enable transformative scientific research that will advance our knowledge of how biological physiological systems respond, adapt, and function in the lunar gravity and deep space radiation. This knowledge will aid in understanding the different health hazards of human space flight and the potential of lunar agriculture. Also, it will enable essential fundamental research in physical sciences that are necessary for developing innovative technologies for establishing long duration habitats and in situ resource utilization on the Moon and in preparation for Mars exploration..
Dr. Kevin Sato is the Program Scientist for Exploration in NASA Headquarters Biological and Physical Sciences Division (BPS), working across the BPS Science Programs, NASA Science Mission Directorate’s (SMD) Divisions, NASA Directorates, and international Space Agencies to advance fundamental scientific research. He has served NASA’s Space Biology Program and its research community for over 22 years. As the Program Scientist for Exploration he works within NASA to define and develop scientific objectives and strategic and tactical plans to conduct science on the Artemis missions and future missions to Mars. Dr.Sato states that “the low Earth orbit platforms of the space shuttle and ISS enabled new scientific discoveries and ability to address long standing theories and hypotheses that were not possible to study on Earth. The Moon now serves as a critical location where we can conduct scientific research that is not possible in low Earth orbit.” He earned his B.S. degree in Microbiology from UCLA and his Ph.D. in Biology from U.C., Irvine.
Beyond NASA, Dr. Sato is busy as a Fellow of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR) where he has served as the Society’s President (2019) and chairs the Communication and Membership Committee and Middle School/High School Program. He is an Associate Editor for npj Microgravity. He was an American Cancer Society and California Breast Cancer Research Program Post-Doctoral Fellow at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA. He was a recipient of the NASA Silver Snoopy Award, NASA Contractor Award, the ASGSR Orr Reynolds Distinguished Service Award, and numerous team awards for space flight research projects.
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