USRA DSLS Celebrates 25th Anniversary
During an address given at the DSLS 25th Anniversary celebration, held on November 3 at USRA's Houston facility, Division Director Dr. Adrian LeBlanc noted the particular importance of life sciences in space exploration. 'Astronomy, robotics, and Hubble pictures are extremely important and very exciting for all of us,' Dr. LeBlanc commented, 'But life science adds the very important human element to the space program. Space exploration becomes very real to the public when astronauts are involved and we in the life sciences have been given the task of enabling those astronauts to live and be productive in space - no matter what the mission.'
Celebrating this anniversary along with Dr. LeBlanc and USRA CEO and President Dr. Frederick A. Tarantino were former DSLS Directors Dr. Alfred C. Coats and Dr. Harrison Schmitt who, as well as being a distinguished geologist, former US Senator from New Mexico, and the last astronaut to walk on the Moon, was the Division's first Director. 'USRA's Division of Space Life Sciences has seen remarkable growth and maturity and has made significant contributions to the life sciences since it began 25 years ago,' said Dr. Schmitt, 'I am privileged to have been associated with its beginnings.'
In commemorating this anniversary, Dr. Tarantino emphasized USRA's pride in the Division and in the work performed there, stating that 'DSLS represents a precious concentration of experience and expertise in the life sciences related to space flight and space exploration. Work done by it is critical to our ability to pursue manned space missions. We could not be prouder of the DSLS staff, past and present, and of the vital contributions that they continue to make to the field of space medicine.'
The Universities Space Research Association, established in 1969 by the National Academy of Sciences, is a private, nonprofit consortium of 102 universities offering advanced degrees in space- and aeronautics-related disciplines. USRA's mission is to conduct leading-edge research, develop innovative technologies, promote education and policy across the breadth of space science, and operate premier science and technology facilities by involving universities, private industry and government.