NASA Long-Range Life Science Program
FACING THE NASA ADMINISTRATOR, however, were problems that extended far beyond the immediate objective of manned space flight. Since the late 1940's when Strughold and his group had defined the biological and ecological problems of extended manned space flight, there had been a growing interest in such extended flight by the civilian academic and industrial community as well as by the military services. This long-range aspect had been overshadowed to some extent by the more pressing problems of near-earth flight as represented in the BOSS concept and the subsequent Mercury program. These latter problems could be resolved by existing technology, but the long-range problems, while defined, would nevertheless require intensive basic research.
Following the Space Act of 1958, the Stever committee had addressed
itself to the need for basic research and had recommended that long-range
planning for extended manned space flight and space exploration proceed
concurrently with that for early space flight. Dr. Glennan acepted
this advice. In the hectic months after the establishment of the
Space Task Group, he took immediate steps to study the capabilities of
space-oriented life-science research to determine the future role of NASA
in the bioscience field.