The A4H News
NEWS Year 1 - Issue 3
Meet an A4H: Dr. Jason Reimuller 7 The Industry Leader NASA Astronaut Dr. Yvonne Cagle 9 The A4H Beat
A4H In The News
Whatâ€™s Hot in Commercial Space
A4H completes second microgravity research job 1
Image Credit: NASA
THE EDITOR’S CORNER
The commercial sector continues to take steps to expand human’s sphere of influence to Lower Earth Orbit (LEO). Shuttling passengers to LEO is their next step. Some of these passengers will likely be astronomers and astrophysicists. They will be able to look outward into the cosmos, first-hand, as they try to solve today’s mysteries about our origin and how the universe works.
Astronauts for Hire is a 501(c)(3) non-profit formed in April 2010 to recruit and train qualified scientists and engineers for the rigors of spaceflight. Commonly referred to as “Astronauts4Hire” or just “A4H,” the organization conducts a range of activities related to commercial astronaut workforce development. A4H’s principal service is to train its members as professional astronaut candidates who can assist researchers, payload developers, and spaceflight providers with mission planning and operations support.
This new opportunity for scientists to fly to LEO will also allow them look inward. Investigating our muscle and bone cells in microgravity will help them assess new methods to fight muscle disorders and bone diseases, such as osteoporosis. Other activities such as protein crystallization in microgravity will also be easier to access to more investigators. However, one of the potentially most influential impacts of opening LEO to more scientists, and people in general, comes from allowing them to look homeward. Seeing our planet from outside and understanding that we all belong to the human race might probe to be essential to promoting peace on Earth. Astronauts4Hire is excited about these three perspectives and we are working hard to make that future a reality.
Interested in hiring A4H for a research project, training your workforce on scientific suborbital flight, or partnering with A4H? Please contact us at Business@astronauts4hire.org Astronauts4Hire is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity. All contributions are tax-deductible (EIN: 27-2360828). If you are interested in supporting this new, commercial wave of humans penetrating the space frontier, contact us at Donate@astronauts4hire.org We would like to thank our sponsors:
Luis Zea ABOUT THE A4H NEWS
Eduardo García-Llama Eduardo.Llama@astronauts4hire.org The A4H Beat What’s Hot in Commercial Space Brian Shiro Brian.Shiro@astronauts4hire.org On the Cover The Industry Leader Ann-Sofie Schreurs AnnSofie.Schreurs@astronauts4hire.org A4H In The News
Martian Level > $20,000
Ne w sle
Luis Zea Editor-in-Chief Luis.Zea@astronauts4hire.org Meet an A4H
sit eL og Pr o es sR el ea Fl se ig s ht su it Lo A4 go H Sp ea ke Cu r st om Pr om o
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions regarding this Newsletter or want to advertise with us, please feel free to contact us at
$10,000 - $20,000
$1,000 - $10,000
Amnon Govrin Amnon.Govrin@astronauts4hire.org Astronaut Training Article
Paul McCall Paul.McCall@astronauts4hire.org Education & Outreach
$100 - $1,000
The A4H News
THE A4H BEAT by Eduardo García-Llama
Dr. Erik Seedhouse’s book titled “Astronauts for Hire: The Emergence of the Commercial Astronaut Corps” is now available. As private companies build and operate launch new vehicles, a new breed of astronaut is coming into being: the commercial astronaut. A4H Flight Member and Training Officer, Dr. Erik Seedhouse, explores in this book how this new breed of astronaut will be selected and trained, providing a unique insight into the kinds of missions and tasks that commercial astronauts will perform.
he spaceflight industry is being revolutionized. It is no longer
companies are being encouraged to build and operate launch vehicles, and even spacecraft that can be hired on a contract basis, a new breed of astronauts is coming into being. Astronauts for Hire describes how this commercial astronaut corps will be selected and trained. It looks at the kind of missions and tasks that the astronauts will be involved in, from orbital science missions to commercial trips to low Earth orbit. The book also describes the new crop of commercial suborbital and orbital spaceships that are being developed: reusable rocket-propelled vehicles that will offer quick, routine, and affordable access to the edge of space. And perhaps beyond − to the possibility of private enterprise establishing interplanetary spaceports, lunar bases, and outposts on the surface of Mars.
ASTRONAUTS FOR HIRE
the sole preserve of professional astronauts working on
government-funded manned spaceflight programs. As private
ASTRONAUTS FOR HIRE The Emergence of the Commercial Astronaut Corps
ISBN: 978-1-4614-0519-1 springer.com www.praxis-publishing.co.uk
A4H Members get SIRIUS Training. A4H members Amnon Govrin, Ben Corbin, Eduardo Garcia-Llama, Paul McCall, and Heather Panic completed their sensorymotor human factors training at the Ashton Graybiel Spatial Orientation Laboratory, now known as SIRIUS Astronaut Training. The day-and-a-half course provides a personal assessment of space motion sickness in disorienting environments to better optimize one’s performance in microgravity. Amnon, Paul, and Eduardo also completed training at the NASTAR Center to prepare for the stresses of launch and reentry. See Page 12 for more.
A4H Members earn their Private/Commercial Pilot Licenses. A4H Associate Member Kavya Manyapu has already accumulated 95 hours in the Cessna 152 and will soon be checked out in a Cessna 172. Her future plan is to get an introductory 10-hour course in aerobatic flight during the summer and eventually become a flight instructor. Similarly, A4H COO Jason Reimuller earned his Commercial Pilot license. A4H co-sponsors the 2012 Dust, Atmosphere and Plasma: Moon and Small Bodies Workshop. This workshop was supported by the NASA Lunar Science Institute, the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) and the Center for Integrated Plasma Studies of the University of Colorado. During the conference, new results from ongoing lunar missions were presented.
A4H is now a member of the NASA Human Health and Performance Center (NHHPC). The NHHPC is a global convener of government, industry, academic, and non-profit organizations that support the advancement of human health and performance innovations for space flight, commercial aviation, and challenging environments on Earth.
A4H members meet up in Houston. Houston based A4H associate members Kavya Manyapu, Karina Descartin, Gerry Manasca, Edwin Vasquez and Eduardo García-Llama, A4H flight members Brian Shiro and Jason Reimuller, and MEDgle CEO Ash Damle, met during the 4-day flight campaign that Vital Space and A4H completed to validate the cutting-edge FDA-approved vital sign monitoring system.
A4H Member Eduardo García-Llama presents two inventions at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Eduardo’s innovations on control and navigation for emergency atmospheric entries were selected for presentation at NASA/JSC’s Innovation Day. Eduardo’s innovation on control consists of two backup thrusters and a control law that can execute a safe entry from an arbitrary initial tumbling condition in the absence of nominal control capability. His innovation on navigation consists of an algorithm that can determine the spacecraft’s attitude during entry with the use of a 3-axis accelerometer, an instrument never devised for that purpose.
A4Hers meeting in Houston, TX.
The A4H News
A4H IN THE NEWS by Ann-Sofie Schreurs, Ph.D.
MoonandBack’s interviews A4H’s president. A4H Flight Member and President, Brian Shiro, gave an interview covering the past, present and future of Astronaut4Hire. The four-part video interview can be seen on moonandback’s and here: http://goo.gl/Ar8FE
Brian being interviewed by moonandback.com. Credit: moonandback.com
A4H feature interview on Southern California Public Radio. Reporter Jed Kim interviewed A4H President Brian Shiro for KPCC Radio’s “Deam Job” series on The Madeleine Brand Show. The interview explored ways of becoming an astronaut, read it here: http://goo.gl/CXWXC
Star Lab Suborbital
Research & Education Payloads Launched to the Edge of Space
Most commercial astronauts, have only one chance to get it right and achieve that “once in a lifetime experience”
o F104 Starfighter air-launch (departing from Kennedy Space Center) o Solid propellant sounding rocket o 100 km typical apogee o 3.5 minutes of microgravity o High purity exterior sample access o 24 VDC payload power o 10 flights yearly, 4-13 payloads each o Payload return after splashdown o Telemetry provided after flight o Launches available for 2H 2012 +
Make sure your space experience is all that it can be - get trained to: • Relax and be in a calm state despite the G-forces you will experience and everything going on around you • Prepare for the psychological and emotional challenges of different flight phases • Focus mental acuity and concentration in order to accomplish your own personal mission • Create strategies to deal with relationships with other passengers in order to resolve conflicts and maximize experience
Payload Types and Prices
o 17 cm radius quarter circle x 20 cm high o Single 2 kg - $8,000* o Tandem 10 cm cubes, 1kg - $4,000* ea. o 35 cm diameter half circle x 20 cm high o 4 kg - $13,333* o 35 cm diameter circle x 20 cm high o 8 kg - $16,667* o Prices include payload integration *Shown with Space Florida rebate deducted, amounting to one-third list price discount. Limited quantities available.
Visit our website at: www.innerspacetraining.com
Lowest cost and highest launch rate available anywhere! Contact: Mark Homnick, 727-845-4011, firstname.lastname@example.org
The A4H News
WHAT’S HOT IN COMMERCIAL SPACE by Eduardo García-Llama
SpaceX completes a successful flight to the International Space Station. The Dragon capsule, launched atop a Falcon 9 rocket on May 22, spent approximately six days berthed with the ISS. The successful splashdown of the Dragon capsule in the Pacific Ocean on May 31 put an end to this historic mission. With this flight, SpaceX’s Dragon capsule was the first commercial vehicle in history to successfully attach to the ISS.
Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announces the completion of several milestones for its Dream Chaser program. SNC reported the following milestones as completed: Separation System Testing, Flight Article Main Landing Gear Drop Testing, Captive Carry Interface Testing, a Captive Carry Flight Test Readiness Review and a successful Captive Carry Flight Test for their Dream Chaser Flight Vehicle. These milestones mark the successful beginning of a flight test program that will continue this summer.
SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo capsule is grappled by the Canadarm2 robotic arm at the International Space Station. Credit: NASA
SNC’s Dream Chaser flight test vehicle during its captive carry test. Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation.
Astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria named President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. Former NASA astronaut and ISS commander, Michael E. Lopez-Alegria (Capt., U.S. Navy, Ret.) is the new President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF). As President, Lopez-Alegria will work with the 40+ members of the Federation, which include providers of commercial orbital and suborbital spaceflight, spaceports and launch facilities, suppliers, and educational and research institutions. A4H is a Research and Education Affiliate of the CSF.
Virgin Galactic has been granted a launch permit from the Federal Aviation Administration. Virgin Galactic’s suborbital spacecraft, SpaceShipTwo, along with its carrier aircraft, WhiteKnightTwo, have been granted an experimental launch permit from the FAA. SpaceX and Bigelow Aerospace join forces to offer crewed missions to space. Both companies have agreed to conduct a joint marketing effort focused on international customers to offer rides on SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, using the Falcon launch vehicle, to carry passengers to Bigelow’s BA 330s habitats orbiting the earth. Bigelow Aerospace plans to connect two or more 330 cubic meter BA 330s in orbit to provide national space agencies, companies, and universities with access to the microgravity environment.
Boeing completes full landing test of its Crew Space Transportation spacecraft. Boeing successfully completed the second parachute drop test of the company’s Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft. The test demonstrated the performance of the entire landing system. The spacecraft descended to a smooth ground landing, cushioned by six inflated air bags. The company plans to initiate test flights in 2015-16.
Blue Origin announced the successful completion of a System Requirements Review of its orbital Space Vehicle. The review assessed the Space Vehicle’s ability to meet safety and mission requirements, and evaluated the technical readiness of the design, the concept of operations, the feasibility of project development plans, and planned verification activities. The review also included results from recently completed wind tunnel tests of the biconic shape, validating the vehicle’s aerodynamic design, stability and cross-range.
Boeing’s CST-100 crew capsule floats to a landing in Nevada. Credit: The Boeing Co. 5
The A4H News
ON THE COVER A4H COMPLETES SECOND MICROGRAVITY RESEARCH JOB by Brian Shiro
As SpaceX was in the final week preparing for its historic launch, A4H once again lived up to its name with the
successful completion of its second microgravity research job. We worked with our partner Vital Space to test a new lightweight biometric monitoring system during a May 2012 parabolic flight campaign funded by the NASA Flight Opportunities Program and operated by NASAâ€™s Reduced Gravity Office at Ellington Field, Texas. The research will pave the way to improved understanding and monitoring of the body in the space environment, ultimately making space travel safer for everyone. Flight members Brian Shiro and Jason Reimuller lent their operational expertise to all phases of the project from its proposal to its planning and execution. They also served as test subjects over the course of the flight campaign, which consisted of four parabolic flights of 40 parabolas each. Wearing the ViSi Mobile system from Sotera Wireless, Inc., they performed a variety of activities to simulate normal and emergency medical use cases expected in the space environment under both lunar and zero gravity conditions. The cutting-edge FDA-approved vital sign monitoring system measures blood pressure, oxygen saturation, heart rate, respiratory rate, skin temperature, etc. Systems like the ViSi Mobile could be worn by any space traveler to increase safety through increased understanding of how the human body responds to spaceflight. An important part of developing the worldâ€™s first commercial astronaut workforce is tracking how this new group of flyers handles the stresses of flight. At the same time, A4H gains valuable experience working in microgravity that will help the organization with future research flight opportunities. The purpose of the Vital Space initiative is to leverage emerging innovations in mobile health technology to capture human performance in spaceflight applications. Its partners include the Scripps Translational Science Institute, Sotera Wireless, MEDgle, Treeline Interactive, and the Silicone Valley Space Center. Three networks in San Diego covered the story, including Good Morning San Diego. Check it out at this link: http://goo.gl/94aDP.
Top picture: Dr. Jason Reimuller testing the ViSi Mobile while Vital Space experts assess its performance. Bottom left: Brian Shiro being manipulated in microgravity. Bottom right: Experts validating the ViSi Mobile. Images Credit: NASA 6
The A4H News
MEET AN A4H DR. JASON REIMULLER Chief Operations Officer by Luis Zea
Dr. Jason Reimuller is A4H’s Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer (COO). He holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, three Master’s degrees (in Physics, Aviation Systems, and Aerospace Engineering) as well as a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering. He has worked on the NASA Constellation Program, as a satellite flight director, and is the CEO of Integrated Spaceflight Services. NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program has recently selected your proposed payload for a suborbital flight. What will your payload investigate? The payload consists of several imagers that will produce stabilized, very high resolution imagery and tomography data of noctilucent cloud layers. Noctilucent clouds are the highest clouds in the Earth’s atmosphere, 83 km (50 miles), near the edge of space, and are observed slightly below the mesopause in the polar summertime. There has been a strong increase of interest in noctilucent clouds in recent years as scientists have realized that these clouds are very sensitive indicators for what is going on in the atmosphere at higher altitudes and their presence, which has been trending towards lower latitudes and more intense displays, may be directly tied to the anthropogenic causes of climatic change. What does your current mission design look like? The experiment is really an extension of my doctoral research, where I had piloted a Mooney M20K aircraft in the Northwest Territories, Canada to intercept NASAs Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere satellite. By doing this, I was able to obtain synchronized imagery of noctilucent clouds that helped NASA improve the satellite’s processing algorithms. This prior experience helped me better plan for further research using suborbital spacecraft, and my current experiment will follow a progression involving at least three flights where I plan to fly the payload onboard a manned reusable suborbital vehicle from a high-latitude spaceport on a night when noctilucent cloud activity is observed. The experiment will need to be conducted in July, but the exact year is still to be defined as there still is uncertainty associated with the readiness of the vehicles and spaceports, as well as the logistical arrangements of transporting a vehicle to a suitable spaceport. Previously, such in-situ sampling could only be possible with multi-million dollar sounding rocket campaigns that gave you one shot per season and tied up a lot of expense in recovery. Soon we will be able to fly multiple manned missions in one night for a fraction of the cost. Recently, you represented A4H on its second job – an effort to increase the technology readiness level of Vital Space’s vital sign monitoring system, which they plan to utilize in upcoming suborbital flights. What was your role during this job? As Sotera represented the hardware and Vital Space represented the medical aspects of the experiment, Brian and I provided key operations expertise to the research team. By knowing what environments and in-flight responsibilities a flight crew might be faced with, we were able to refine the planning of the microgravity campaign so that the precious seconds we were given to validate the payload were used to achieve the most relevant results and rehearsed to a precision prior to our flights. Once we were in the air, and our role quickly became that of guinea pigs. The fact that we executed our test plans flawlessly and without stress was a testament to our mission planning and our ability Jason leading a deep dive. He is a certified Divemaster. to quickly adapt to small contingencies. 7
The A4H News
What kind of training have you done with A4H and how did it help you do your job during the recent parabolic flight? Our prior training in analog and real-time operational environments was a key asset to our successful campaign. I’ve completed the requirements for Research Specialist astronaut including centrifuge and aerobatic training, contingency training, and space adaptation training. This was my first microgravity experience so I wanted to make sure that my performance was impeccable in order not to negatively impact the project. Personally, I relied heavily on my piloting experience during this campaign. With roughly 20 seconds to produce your objective for each parabola, you had to always ‘think ahead of the airplane’ and not dwell on the previous parabola. Just like shooting an instrument approach, you need to know exactly what you will do before you commit to the approach or in this case the parabola. You need to act in a confined, real-time, and potentially stressful environment and respond decisively to any off-nominal occurrence. In one instance, one of our team members was affected by a bout of nausea. The remaining three of us instantly reconfigured the next parabolas to account for his absence and then seamlessly reintegrated him back into the team without compromising any results. You are a commercial pilot with 500 hours of experience. How do you think this has helped you be better prepared for future spaceflight? Operational experience is essential to all spaceflight crew members. Piloting an aircraft develops skills, I think, which are of critical importance to scientist-astronauts. Pilots need to conduct procedures in a disciplined manner and prioritize resources in real-time. As much as one rehearses a mission, there always is the potential for an unplanned contingency that can be time critical and jeopardize mission objectives or even the safety of the crew. Effective decision making can minimize such impacts. Further, aircraft cockpits are cramped and helmets, oxygen masks, and gloves confine ones movements much as would be encountered in a spacecraft or a spacesuit. Successful operations in space rely heavily on coordination with other crew members as well as specialists assisting from the ground, much as in an aircraft. Clear and concise communication is vital. Finally, the aviation environment is a good analog to the spaceflight environment in providing a degree of adaptation prior to flight. Tell us about Integrated Spaceflight Services. What services does this innovative company provide to the suborbital research community? ISS was founded as a way to transfer some of the expertise gained through NASA’s Constellation Program to commercial spacecraft developers. Since then, we’ve been involved in the development of a spaceflight crew training capability, post-landing and egress testing, as well as rescue and recovery service development. ISS has also been developing spaceflight automation tools as well as decision support tools involving mission contingencies through quantitative analyses of all phases of flight. We are a small, quickly adaptable company that can rapidly tackle challenging problems.
Left: Dr. Reimuller flying his Mooney airplane. Center: During his Research Specialist Training at AGSOL. Right: Doing a bailout during Divemaster training. 8
The A4H News
THE INDUSTRY LEADER YVONNE CAGLE NASA Astronaut by Brian Shiro
Dr. Yvonne Cagle, M.D. is a NASA astronaut qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. As a colonel in the US Air Force, Dr. Cagle has logged numerous hours in high performance aircraft and provided medical support in a variety of aeromedical missions. She is also a consulting professor for Stanford University’s Departments of Cardiovascular Medicine and Electrical Engineering. Initially assigned to the Astronaut Office Operations Planning Branch supporting Shuttle and Space Station, Dr. Cagle is currently assigned as the lead Astronaut Science Liaison and Strategic Relationships Manager at the NASA Ames Research Center. There, she managed and led the creation of the Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research Program (CRuSR), which is now part of the NASA Flight Opportunities Program. She currently serves on the faculty of Singularity University. Image Credit: NASA
Tell us about your role at Singularity University. At Singularity University (SU), I am the Vice President for Space Technologies. In that role I serve as NASA’s liaison to SU where I assess various technologies that would enable SU’s vision of impacting 1 billion people in a 10-20 year period in areas of global food, energy, water, space, health, environment, sustainability, and security. We’re trying to basically bring space down to Earth in order to optimize, improve, and evolve our life. In return, we’ll take those technologies used on Earth and translate them into the space environment to further enable our abilities to explore deep space, settle other planets, and explore asteroids. Some of the most innovative companies today hail from your backyard in Silicon Valley. Do you think an entrepreneurial approach to space exploration is the answer to shrinking government support of space? The role for government space is to identify and settle new frontiers so that we can continue to push space expeditions beyond what we currently have achieved. NASA has the experience and heritage knowledge to be able to smartly and strategically go into deep space in partnership with commercial space in a way that can be very enabling. Together, we can take the legacy of lessons learned in LEO and turn it into something that is even more lasting and relevant to protecting and preserving our home planet. As someone with extensive experience conducting research on parabolic microgravity flights, what do you see as some of the unanswered questions that can be answered on suborbital platforms? There are as many things to look at as one can dream about. For me, some questions that still need to be answered are: 1) What happens to the body during the transitional phases going into and coming out of microgravity? In particular, we do not understand how the autonomic system reacts, responds, and compensates to those changes when the gravity vector is removed. Now with suborbital capabilities, we can actually monitor humans going into and out of microgravity to see how facile and adaptive the autonomic system is. 2) How do materials perform in microgravity, especially mixing of different materials? A high school here in San Jose is flying cement mixing experiments on NanoRacks. Another example is how ferrous materials perform and move in various gravity environments. 3) Another area to look at is the atmosphere. Lower in the atmosphere, we can sample carbon dioxide levels. Going up higher to the mesosphere, we can look at ionizing activity and study how lightning occurs. This is an area that is totally unexplored and untapped. 9
The A4H News
You helped create the NASA CRuSR program, whose successor (Flight Opportunities) just funded a series of A4H parabolic flights. Has that program lived up to your hopes, and how do you see it expanding as commercial spaceflights become a reality? The program has exceeded my wildest expectations. What Flight Opportunities does is position the CRuSR program to trek down the evolutionary path to space. We started out with parabolic research and are now looking at suborbital capabilities with 4-5 minutes of microgravity time. This will ultimately lead to orbital demonstrations on long duration spaceflights and deep space missions as well. To know that you can come in with an idea and demonstrate it on so many different platforms that can literally take you all the way into space is really exciting. Accelerating technologies are evolving so fast that we have to also evolve the platforms in order to optimize and maximize what these technologies can do. That’s what Flight Opportunities gives us. It drives us into corridors that are untapped and undiscovered, allowing us to be pioneers on new frontiers. That’s what exploration is all about. How do you see the interplay of space tourism and research in the emerging commercial spaceflight industry? What will sustain the industry in the long term? I love the concept of space tourism and am very much pro open-space. Citizen scientist space flyers may be 8 years old or 85, but every one of them may have the key to the puzzle or answer we’re looking for. The more we open up space to the public, the more we can take it to heights never before achieved or imagined. I think research and science are going to have lots of applications that have sustainable, affordable bottom lines because that price point is very achievable with collaborative partnerships. When you can find efficient ways to turn around rate limiters for R&D like payload recovery, you enable an entire industry posture that makes it very viable and sustainable. As someone who has experienced many aspects of being a NASA astronaut, what advice can you give to those aspiring to be astronauts in either the civil or private sectors today? I think being an astronaut starts in the mind and in the heart. Space is all about being borderless. You have to be able to look beyond barriers to the inflection points and find ways to enable them so you can go exponential. Find ways to aspire and achieve in ways that are not traditional. My own personal motto is, “there’s space for all.” There is space for all ideas, walks, diversities, cultures, and religions. This is one playing field where nobody has to be excluded.
We can take the legacy of lessons learned in LEO and turn it into something that is even more lasting and relevant to protecting and preserving our home planet. - Yvonne Cagle NASA Astronaut
Image Credit: Singularity University 10
The A4H News
The A4H News
ASTRONAUT TRAINING - EDUCATIONAL NAUSEA AND WILD RIDES by Amnon Govrin
On a spring week in March, A4H Associate Member Paul McCall and I went through two parts of the A4H as-
tronaut training program; sensorymotor human factors training at SIRIUS located at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, and high altitude and high-G training at the National AeroSpace Training and Research (NASTAR) center in Pennsylvania. A suborbital astronaut, differently from a suborbital tourist, needs to be a functioning member of a crew on suborbital flights. Knowing one’s susceptibility, adaptation and decay as well as one’s onset symptoms is crucial to being prepared and avoiding the provocations on a suborbital flight or any other situation. In an underground lab at Brandeis University, the legacy of Ashton Graybiel continues to push the limits of testing, modeling and looking for adaptation techniques to motion sickness, caused not due to motion itself but due to transition between states which changes the powers operating on the human body and vestibular system. A day and a half of demonstrations and experiences akin to amusement park rides stripped of their glamour, fancy names and proximity to fast food, combined with education around the vestibular system (inner ear mechanisms) showed Paul and I some of the phenomena to be expected on suborbital space flights and zero gravity. The beginning of these flights is nearing, with some vehicle providers powered test flights scheduled for the rest of this year. Paul and I attended the NASTAR Suborbital Scientist training with six other men and women varying in profession from scientists to news reporters. We went through high altitude training in an altitude chamber, going up to a virtual 25,000ft and observing each other’s onset of hypoxia symptoms, knowledge that would prove useful if we ever experience partial vehicle decompression. We also went on several “flights” on the NASTAR centrifuge, which accurately exposed us to the same G forces produced by a real suborbital flight, specifically the flight profile of SpaceShipTwo. We learned how to avoid losing consciousness (G-LOC) from high G on the Z-axis (from the head downward) and breathe successfully when exposed to high G on the X-axis (front to back through torso). This part of our training was a lot of fun but at the same time required understanding the physiological effect of high G and the techniques to counter those. Suborbital spaceflight is orders of magnitude cheaper than orbital. The price difference trickles down to training, requiring creativity and frugality both in time and training programs to reflect the different cost structure while not sacrificing the essence and substance of such training. Unlike NASA astronauts, who travel in T-38 jets, Paul and I drove from Boston (SIRIUS) to Philadelphia (NASTAR), enjoying the scenery and benefiting from space technology such as GPS, costing a lot less than flying in an airliner or training jet. Our week of training was an important step on the road to becoming suborbital astronauts, getting ready for the commencement of flights and as the need for commercial astronauts and scientists ramps up. Whether Virgin Galactic, XCOR or any other vehicle provider is ready in 2013 or beyond, Astronauts4Hire will continue to work hard towards creating training programs, partnerships with providers and produce the skilled workforce that will increase the success rate of science, experimentation and operations of suborbital flights. Left: A4H Associate Member Paul McCall. Right: A4H Flight Member Amnon Govrin.
The A4H News
EDUCATION & OUTREACH by Paul McCall
Associate member Kavya Manyapu has been hard at work mentoring students and advocating for STEM careers.
She has spent time encouraging girls to pursue education and careers in STEM with Girls Exploring Math and Science, in Houston, Texas. She has also found time to mentor students through the NASA High School Aerospace Scholars Program. Among other activities, Kavya has been asked to speak at multiple industry related functions including Boeing Hispanic Employees Network, the Houston EcoBot Challenge, and the Houston Area Urban League STEM Camp.
Flight member Kristine Ferrone judged the Prince William County Regional Science Fair in Virginia on behalf of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). She was part of a panel which chose award winners at both the high school and middle school levels based on their projects making innovative use of engineering and aerospace technology. She also had the opportunity to present on Commercial Human Spaceflight at Thomas Jefferson High School’s tjSTARS event. Flight member Luis Zea reached out to 720 K-6 students. This May, he talked at the Northridge Elementary in Denver, CO about how cool can it be to work in a STEM career. He presented hardware flown to space via BioServe Space Technologies and talked about the Dream Chaser spacecraft and how kids can reach space themselves. Associate member Tahir Merali has helped develop space and astronomy-related curriculum for 7th – 9th grade students in Calgary, Canada. He also gave a presentation to members of the Shia Ismaili Muslim Community, ranging from high-school to seasoned professionals. A4H President Brian Shiro presented A4H at the fast-paced Ignite STEM Hawaii event in honor of National STEM Education Week. He also contributed a video to Yuri’s Night on behalf of A4H and was a guest on his local NPR station’s STEM program Bytemarks Cafe speaking about the HI-SEAS field study. Associate Member Paul McCall had the opportunity to be a “Career Day” guest speaker at Kinloch Park Elementary School in Coral Gables, Florida. He had the opportunity to talk about his current research efforts, A4H-related astronaut training, as well as some of the unique opportunities available for those who seek STEM-based careers. Flight member Christopher Altman was honored to keynote the final chapter of Mobile Monday Amsterdam in May of 2011. Mobile Monday, the “European TED,” is focused on technology, openness and communication. Mobile Monday Amsterdam is the largest and most successful of the Mobile Monday gatherings, with branches in over 100 cities worldwide. The surprise theme for the final event was “SPACE.” Kristine Ferrone volunteered at the National Air and Space MuChris at Mobile Monday Amsertdam. Image Credit: Mobile Monday seum Udvar-Hazy Center for the Welcome Discovery Ceremony, Amsterdam / Filip Bunkens | pitslamp.com where she staffed the Space Suit exhibit during the event. She also volunteered at their annual Space Day event, where she staffed the “Touch a Falling Star” exhibit which offers museum guests the opportunity to touch real meteorites and learn about how these objects form and eventually reach Earth. A4H Flight Member Dr. Kris Lehnhardt was an invited speaker at the University of Guelph where he participated in a panel discussion on the future of research in the space industry during the one-day open house event titled “Bringing Space Down to Earth”. 13
The A4H News
ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS AT
The best way to reach the microgravity research market. With thousands and thousands of readers, The A4H News can help bring positive and highimpact exposure to your business. For more information contact us at Newsletter@astronauts4hire.org www.astronauts4hire.org 14
We are proud to present Astronauts4Hire's third quarterly newsletter The A4H News. Highlights in this issue include interviews with A4H Chie...