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Cal State San Marcos Scientists Part Of NASA Space Research Team

The Cal State San Marcos campus is shown, Feb. 8, 2018.

Photo by Alison St John

Above: The Cal State San Marcos campus is shown, Feb. 8, 2018.

Cal State San Marcos announced Monday that a group of its researchers have been accepted into a NASA research program that will analyze human space exploration and space science over the next five years.

Researchers with CSUSM are part of one of eight research teams that will receive a combined $52.5 million over five years at roughly $10.5 million per year from NASA's Science and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. The research teams are part of the agency's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute.

The research team that includes CSUSM researchers, called the Interdisciplinary Consortium for Evaluating Volatile Origins, plans to use the funding to study celestial bodies that lack atmosphere and how their surfaces are weathered by space.

In addition to CSUSM researchers, the team includes scientists from Washington University, San Francisco State University, Johns Hopkins University and NASA's Johnson Space Center.

"This grant will enable us to take a multidisciplinary approach to understanding several important questions about ice on the moon, including its origin," said CSUSM lead researcher and physics professor Gerardo Dominguez. "These questions are important scientifically and for preparing humans to explore the solar system."

The eight new teams will join four current research teams working within SSERVI to study the moon, asteroids near Earth and Phobos and Deimos, Mars' two moons. NASA chose the eight teams from a pool of two dozen proposals, according to CSUSM.

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