Nine universities and organisations across the US have been selected by Nasa for their proposals related to the International Space Station (ISS) and suborbital research.

The space agency awarded $1.2m for research and technology development projects for various missions, including exploring radiation effects and growing food for long-duration space travel.

Six universities were selected for ISS flight opportunities, including the Oklahoma State University, Stillwater to study on enhanced Active Tissue Equivalent Dosimeter (eATED) for space crew dosimetry; and Montana State University, Bozeman’s microgravity demonstration of an in-space food production system.

The University of Delaware, Newark was also chosen for its proposal on the integrated photonic receiver subsystems with all-optical signal processors.

The University of Puerto Rico, San Juan was shortlisted for a microgravity experiment to measure the Speed of Sound inside simulated Asteroid Regolith in the ISS environment (MESSAR).

Proposals from the University of Kentucky, Lexington; and Iowa State University, Ames; were also awarded for ISS flight opportunities.

The University of Alabama, the University of Mississippi, and Oklahoma State University were selected for suborbital flight opportunities.

The award is part of Nasa’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), which helps science and technology R&D at colleges and universities.

Nasa in a statement said: “EPSCoR helps develop partnerships among Nasa research missions and programmes, academic institutions, and industry.

“It also assists the awardees as they establish long-term academic research enterprises that will be self-sustaining and competitive and contribute to local economic viability and development.”

Research resulting from these projects will be transferred to Nasa for potential use in its ongoing work.

Earlier this month, Nasa selected two new missions to Venus, under its Discovery Program.