Areas of expertise include:
Known for outstanding scientific analyses, USRA scientists lend their expertise to astronomy and astrophysics missions that span the electromagnetic spectrum. Current studies include: infrared observations of the Milky Way's galactic center and interstellar medium; radio astronomy observations of pulsars; and X-ray and gamma-ray observations of black holes, gamma-ray bursts, and supernovae.
USRA is at the forefront of lunar and planetary research, bringing together world-class scientists to investigate Earth's cosmic neighbors. Current research topics include: the origin and evolution of the early solar system; petrology and geochemistry of planetary materials and volatiles; planetary interiors; volcanism and tectonism; impact cratering; and planetary observations.
Valued for health-related investigations during and after spaceflight, USRA scientists seek medical breakthroughs that can benefit astronaut well-being and by extension, the health of society as a whole. Ground-based studies and well as experiments aboard the International Space Station provide USRA scientists the opportunity to address issues such as bone loss, cardiovascular deconditioning, muscle atrophy, and wound healing.
USRA has a broad range of abilities and experience in the Earth sciences, leading and supporting programs for several sponsoring organizations. Current areas of focus include: ecological forecasting; climate change and modeling; atmospheric chemistry; hydrological studies; and public health.
USRA researchers work closely with customer organizations to apply advanced information technology to various missions in astrobiology, biological sciences, space sciences, and Earth sciences. USRA research areas of expertise include: autonomy and decision support; and software verification and validation. While these technologies will certainly be required to achieve the nation's space exploration vision, they will also lead to breakthroughs here on Earth.