2021 Human Exploration Research Opportunities (HERO)

NASA Human Exploration Research Opportunities (HERO) Released A National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Research Announcement (NRA), entitled, “Human Exploration Research Opportunities (HERO)” (NNJ21ZSA001N), has been released.

This NRA will solicit applied research in

support of NASA’s Human Research Program (HRP).

This NRA is available through the NASA Research Opportunities homepage at:

The research will fall into one or more categories corresponding to HRP’s five Elements:
Space Radiation, Human Health Countermeasures, Exploration Medical Capability, Human Factors and Behavioral Performance, and Research Operations and Integration.

This NRA covers all aspects of research to provide human health and performance countermeasures, knowledge, technologies, and tools to enable safe, reliable, and productive human space exploration.

Awards generally range from under $100K per year for focused, limited efforts (e.g., data analysis) to $1M per year for extensive activities (e.g., development of scientific hardware) and will be made as grants.

The funds available for awards in each research opportunity offered in this NRA range from less than one million to several million dollars.

This range allows selection from a few to as many as a dozen proposals depending on the program objectives and the submission of proposals of merit.

The period of performance for an award can range from one to five years.

All categories of United States (U.S.) institutions are eligible to submit proposals in response to this NRA.

Any changes or modifications to any of these guidelines will be specified in the descriptions of the relevant research opportunities in the solicited research response area appendices of this solicitation.

Details of the topics will be given in the solicited research response area appendices of the NRA.

Unless otherwise specified, appendices will use a two-step solicitation process requiring that a compliant and relevant Step-1 proposal be submitted in order to be considered to be invited to submit a Step-2 proposal.

Proposal due dates will be staggered throughout the HERO open period of July 30, 2021 to July 202 2. The first proposal due date (for Step-1 proposals submitted in response to Appendices A and B) is September 1, 202 1. The electronic submission of each is required by the due date for proposal submission.

Proposal due dates are given in the NRA and the solicited research response area appendices, which will be posted at https://nspires.nasaprs.com.

Interested proposers should monitor https://nspires.nasaprs.com or register and subscribe to the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) electronic notifications system through the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System (NSPIRES) account subscription services.

New program elements or amendments to this NRA through July 2022 will be posted in NSPIRES, after which time release of a subsequent HERO NRA is planned.

All categories of United States (U.S.) institutions are eligible to submit proposals in response to the NRA.

Principal Investigators may collaborate with universities, Federal Government laboratories, the private sector, and state and local government laboratories.

In all such arrangements, the applying entity is expected to be responsible for administering the project according to the management approach presented in the proposal.

NASA’s policy is to conduct research with non-U. S. organizations on a cooperative, no exchange-of-funds basis.

Thank you for your continued interest in NASA.

Please refer to the solicitation document for contact information.
Related Programs


National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Office: NASA Johnson Space Center

Estimated Funding: $1,816,902

Who's Eligible

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Obtain Full Opportunity Text:
Please click here to view the solicitation.

Additional Information of Eligibility:
All categories of U. S. institutions are eligible to submit proposals in response to this NRA (see solicitation for details).

NASA's policy regarding non-U. S. organizations is to conduct research on a cooperative, no exchange of funds basis.

Full Opportunity Web Address:


Agency Email Description:
For difficulty accessing the opportunity, click here.

Agency Email:

Date Posted:

Application Due Date:

Archive Date:

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