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CLOUD GAZING… FROM SUBORBITAL SPACE A4H Member Leads Upper Atmosphere Experiment

Meet the Astronauts for Hire The New Crew Introducing the Flight Member Class of 2013

Industry Leader Janna Kaplan SIRIUS About Astronaut Training

SpaceX Making Commercial Spaceflight a Reality An excerpt from Erik Seedhouse’s latest book

The A4H Beat • A4H in the News • What’s Hot 1 in Commercial Space • A4H Reaching Out




With a belief that the creative energy of human space research is a powerful force for the betterment of our planet, Astronauts4Hire was established to provide opportunities for those motivated to contribute to creating a sustainable space exploration paradigm. Three years after inception, A4H is steadily moving forward, accomplishing the organization’s goals and objectives one step at a time. A4H makes a giant leap this year as its first class of trained commercial astronaut candidates nears graduation. Continuing this success, A4H has also recruited its next class of Flight Members. Both milestones are testimony to our commitment to serve the commercial spaceflight industry. Our involvement at this year’s Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (presenting over a dozen technical papers and posters), our ongoing commercial astronaut training, and our first silent auction to raise funds for educational outreach are proof that A4H is dedicated not only to providing skills training for commercial space, but also providing research capabilities and helping to inspire the next generation. The A4H executive team welcomes the new class of A4H commercial astronaut candidates and congratulates the team for their ongoing achievements in their professional and training pursuits.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions regarding this newsletter or want to advertise with us, please contact us at

Kavya K. Manyapu Editor-in-Chief

Gerry Manacsa Designer

Brian Shiro Contributor

Paul McCall Contributor

Erik Seedhouse Contributor

Ben Corbin Contributor

Jason Reimuller Contributor

Kavya K. Manyapu

Jamie Guined Contributor


Astronauts for Hire is a 501(c)(3) non-profit formed in 2010 to recruit and train qualified scientists and engineers for the rigors of spaceflight. Commonly referred to as “A4H,” the organization conducts a range of activities related to commercial astronaut workforce development. A4H’s principal service is to train members as professional astronaut candidates who can assist researchers, payload developers, and spaceflight providers with mission planning and operations support. Interested in hiring A4H for a research project, training your workforce on scientific suborbital flight, or partnering with A4H? Contact us at Contributions to A4H are tax-deductible (EIN: 27-2360828). If you are interested in supporting A4H’s inspiring mission at the forefront of the commercial space frontier, please contact us at





Image: NASA

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Canadian Media Eye Commercial Astronauts

A4H on The Space Show

Interest in human spaceflight exploded in Canada,

A4H Flight Members were frequent guests on the bi-

thanks to Chris Hadfield’s recent stay aboard the ISS.

weekly Internet radio talk program, The Space Show.

However, with no Canadian astronauts scheduled to fly,

A4H President Brian Shiro spoke with host Dr. David

the country is instead looking ahead to the promise of

Livingston on June 3 about A4H, the National Oceanic

commercial spaceflight. A4H Flight Members Dr. Erik

and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Next-

Seedhouse and Associate Member Dr. Kris Lehnhardt

Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC).

were featured in a story first published in the Toronto

On June 10, Flight Member Dr. Mindy Howard discussed

Star. CBC News also ran a related article, which was

the mental and emotional challenges facing astronauts

subsequently carried nationwide in publications

during commercial spaceflight. Dr. Erik Seedhouse

including the Edmonton Journal, the Calgary Herald, the

appeared on July 28 to talk about his new book SpaceX:

Vancouver Sun, the Victoria Times Columnist, and many

Making Commercial Spaceflight a Reality. Flight Member

blogs and news sites including Montreal CTV News. Dr.

Dr. Jason Reimuller also apperanced on October 22 to

Seedhouse was also quoted in a SpaceRef article about

discuss Project PoSSUM (see this issue’s cover story).

Canada’s unwillingness to pay to send another astronaut


to the ISS.









Polar Mesospheric Clouds, also known as Noctilucent Clouds.


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A4H MEMBER LEADS SUBORBITAL AERONOMY RESEARCH NASA selects member-led project to study noctilucent clouds from rSLV BY DR. JASON REIMULLER

Astronauts4Hire Chief Operating Officer and Flight Member Dr. Jason Reimuller is Principal Investigator of a multifaceted suborbital research experiment to study the upper atmosphere through in-situ observation of Noctilucent Clouds (NLCs). Reimuller presented the experiment, called Project PoSSUM, at the Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) on June 5 in Broomfield, Colorado along with PoSSUM Chief Scientist David Fritts and Instrument Lead Zoltan Sternovsky. PoSSUM, an acronym for Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere, grew from the Noctilucent Cloud Imagery and Tomography Experiment, an experiment that was selected by NASA through the Space Technology Mission Directorate’s Flight Opportunities program in March 2012 as Experiment 46-S to fly on a reusable suborbital launch vehicle (rSLV). In a broad sense, Project PoSSUM uses imaging and remote sensing techniques from rSLVs to address critical questions about our climate. The PoSSUM NLC experiment is the first of its kind and presents unique challenges. The experiment has specific constraints and serves as a demonstration launch for rSLVs deployable nature. NLCs are observed in the summer at high latitudes, the only time and place where the upper mesosphere is cold enough to allow their formation. Therefore, the initial campaign will be conducted throughout a one-week period in late July 2015 from a highlatitude spaceport. Both Eielson Airforce base and Kiruna Sweden are being considered as potential




locations for the operational campaign. Though no definite decision has been made, the XCOR Lynx Mark II rSLV is the likely vehicle for the experiment, as it can be rapidly deployed to a high-latitude spaceport and be dedicated to a specific scientific mission in a cost effective Image: XCOR

and quickly repeatable manner. Further, as a stabilized, human-inthe-loop vehicle, it offers unique capabilities generally unavailable in the sounding rockets used in previous studies. NLCs are the highest clouds in the Earth’s atmosphere at 83 km (50 miles) — near the edge of space — and are observed slightly below the mesopause in the polar summertime. NLCs are believed to nucleate due to super-saturation in the mesosphere, possible due to very low (110K–135K) temperatures at and near the mesopause. The first recorded sightings of NLCs were in 1885 at high latitudes, recognizable because they were high enough to reflect sunlight even after sunset, giving the appearance of glowing at night. The term noctilucent (‘nightglowing’) is commonly used

T O P The XCOR Lynx can be rapidly deployed to a high-lati-

tude spaceport and dedicated to a specific scientific mission in a cost effective and quickly repeatable manner.

B O T T O M Reimuller formed the Polar Suborbital Science

in the Upper Mesosphere (PoSSUM) Project, consisting of 20 scientists representing a dozen instruments.

when referring to these clouds from the ground. “Interest in NLC research has strongly increased in recent years as scientists realized these clouds are very sensitive indicators for events in the atmosphere at higher altitudes,” Dr.Reimuller explains. “Due to the extreme cold and very low density of the mesosphere, small changes in the atmospheric environment can lead to large changes in the properties of these clouds. By observing these properties and their variability, we can learn a lot about the atmosphere as a whole.”


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In a more practical sense, Dr. Reimuller suggests that the man-made causes of global climatic change may be directly related to NLC presence. “Satellite observations over the past four decades indicate that NLCs have increased in brightness, extended to lower latitudes, and been observed with increasing frequency. We ask why? Since these clouds form on condensation nuclei through cold temperatures and the presence of water vapor, and since these properties of the mesosphere are tied to carbon dioxide and methane, the anthropogenic causes of climatic change may be directly related to the presence of NLCs.� NLCs are of further interest for planning orbital flights, as NLCs reside near a poorly understood yet critical region for re-entry. They also provide an analog to lowdensity atmospheres on other planets. By studying NLCs here, we can better model high-altitude, low-density clouds that appear elsewhere. The PoSSUM NLC Campaign seeks to answer several key questions relating to our understanding of NLCs and the upper atmosphere. Specifically, PoSSUM will: 1) map the small-scale dynamics of NLCs and better quantify the roles of energy and momentum deposition from the lower atmosphere, 2) validate a method to study the seasonal variability of NLCs, mesospheric dynamics, and temperatures, 3) determine if the fine structures observed in the OH layer are coupled with NLC structures, 4) seek to understand how NLCs nucleate, and 5) bound the geometry of NLC particle shapes, leading to a better estimate of the nucleation/growth/ sublimation processes of NLC particles. To address these questions, PoSSUM will rely on the novel capabilities of rSLVs to provide very high resolution imagery and tomography data of NLCs through a series of visual and infrared imagers that will study structures in NLC layers and in the neighboring OH layer of the mesosphere. From this imagery, PoSSUM will create 3D models of these cloud formations to a precision previously unobtainable,

B E L O W PoSSUM Imager System integrated (left) and individual components (right).




and an analysis of the finer features will greatly advance our understanding of the circulation and structure of the upper atmosphere. Additional payloads include the PoSSUM lidar, which is a depolarization lidar system being developed by Dr. Steve Mitchell of Sigma Space Systems to investigate the shapes of NLC particles; the Mesospheric Aerosol Sampling Spectrometer (MASS) being developed by Dr. Zoltan Sternovsky of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics; and the Mesosphere Clear Air Turbulence (MCAT) system to measure temperature and density distributions in the upper atmosphere, being developed by Dr. Gerald Lehmacher of Clemson University. B E L O W Vertical and horizontal cross sections of NLC computer models developed by Project PoSSUM team members showing concentrations of energy associated with band and billow structures.


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The PoSSUM experiment follows a logical progression of Dr. Reimuller’s prior research where he led a NASA-funded airborne campaign to study these high clouds during the Summer of 2009. In that project, he instrumented and piloted a Mooney M20K aircraft to intercept the overpass of NASA’s Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) satellite, obtaining imagery of NLCs that helped NASA improve the satellite’s processing algorithms. Based on experience gained in this experiment, Reimuller estimates a high probability that at least one NLC observation opportunity will exist within the one-week deployment period. However, since it is difficult to predict when NLCs might form, the team will deploy and wait for launch opportunities verified through ground observations or lidar detection from a nearby facility. Dr. Reimuller has been a member of A4H since June 2010 and has served as Chief Operating Officer since October 2010. He has been training as a Research Specialist Astronaut since 2011. According to Reimuller, “A4H training provided invaluable insight into the many operational factors associated with the project through direct exposure to high-G loads, microgravity, hypoxia, and space adaptation issues. This influenced the design of PoSSUM payloads and the planning of PoSSUM flights.” Project PoSSUM hosts the Suborbital Imagery and Remote Sensing Conference, and those interested in global monitoring, imagery, and remote sensing applications from rSLVs are encouraged to attend. More information is available at




In late March, A4H announced it would again expand its

A B O V E Flight Member Jose Hurtado undergoes underwater egress training at Survival Systems USA.

Flight Member group with its first application opportunity in two years. Even with tougher eligibility require-

team-building opportunity for our members, strengthen-

ments, we received a record number of applications from

ing the bonds that make the A4H community so effective.

the most competitive candidates yet. The A4H Selection

A4H is committed to serving the needs not only of today’s

Committee had a challenging task choosing six new com-

commercial astronaut candidates but also those of the

mercial astronaut candidates. Get to know the new Flight

future. To help inspire the next generation of space ex-

Members in this issue’s Meet the A4H!

plorers, A4H just wrapped up its first annual World Space

This year, A4H carried out its first Silent Auction in con-

Week Art Contest. We received many creative submis-

junction with Yuri’s Night events. The auction raised over

sions from kids of all ages and gave out awards consisting

$800 to support A4H educational outreach programs.

of certificates, A4H patches, and a telescope grand prize.

The A4H team would like to thank all the A4H members, friends and partners who supported this activity.

Team in Training

For the third year in a row, A4H was a sponsor of the

A4H members came together for several training activities over the summer. Flight Members Ben Corbin, Jim

NSRC, held in Broomfield, Colorado on June 3–5. A4H

Crowell, and Associate Member David Attig completed

was established at the first NSRC in 2010, and the annual

training at the NASTAR Center on high altitude and high

meeting continues to be the most important event of the

gravity physiology with corresponding hypobaric chamber

year for A4H. A4H members and partners presented on

and centrifuge rides. Flight Members Kristine Ferrone and

over a dozen topics. NSRC again proved to be a valuable


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Professional Pursuits

B E L O W A4H Members gathered for a photo-op with the XCOR Lynx Mark

II mockup during the 2013 NSRC in Broomfield, Colorado.

Flight Member Jason Reimuller stayed very busy leading Project PoSSUM suborbital flight-based research. Jason gave related talks at NSRC, AIAA Tech Talk, Citizen Science and Space Hacker Workshop (the latter two hosted by the Silicon Valley Space Center). Jason also held a PoSSUM workshop at the 2013 CEDAR Workshop and is now preparing to host the 2013 Suborbital Imaging and Remote Sensing Conference at NASA Ames in December. The NASA Flight Opportunities Program gave Jason two awards to fly PoSSUM payloads, the most recent announced last June. Flight Member Joe Palaia served as commander for the Mars Society’s 13th Expedition to the Flashline Mars

Mindy Howard attended SIRIUS Astronaut Training for a

Arctic Research Station (FMARS) on Devon Island, Canada

sensorimotor human factors course to prepare for spatial

during the month of July. He and his team were there to

disorientation, motion sickness and other space adaptation issues (see also this issue’s Industry Leader). Flight Members Jose Hurtado and Ben Corbin joined Kristine Ferrone at Survival Systems USA for underwater emergency egress training that taught how to remain calm in the life-threatening situation of a submerged, inverted vehicle. In addition, Associate Member Karina Descartin trained at the NASTAR Center’s Aerospace Medicine Lab Course for Physicians, which included not only altitude chamber and centrifuge sessions but also spatial disorientation and night vision training to demonstrate the physiological impacts of flight. Associate Member Paul McCall and Flight Member Luis Saraiva also trained at the NASTAR Center as part of a UTMB research study sponsored by the FAA Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation. Flight Members Luis Zea and Jason Reimuller, with Associate Member Bruce Davis, participated in the 4th Annual Emerging Space Industry Leaders Workshop (ESIL04), which was supported by the FAA Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation. Held at Sierra Nevada Corporation, the focus of this year’s workshop

A B O V E Associate Member Karina Descartin prepares for a simulated aircraft ejection during a NASTAR Center aerospace medicine lab course.

was microgravity research and suborbital market analysis.




Business Development Officer and new Flight Member

B E L O W Flight Members Jose Hurtado (not pictured) and Ben Corbin

Jamie Guined transitioned from a position in exercise

joined Kristine Ferrone at Survival Systems USA for underwater emergency egress training.

physiology at NASA JSC to the Neuroscience Laboratory at UTMB. She spoke at SpaceUp Houston in February and at the Ancestral Health Symposium in Atlanta in August. Jamie recently started the business LAUNCH Fitness and Human Performance to offer specialty fitness certifications for the commercial spaceflight industry. Associate Member Kris Lehnhardt taught a course on Human Health in Space at George Washington University last semester and gave presentations on space radiation and gait analysis at the NSRC. He, Michael Gallagher and Karina Descartin attended the Aerospace Medicine Conference in Chicago in May. Kris and Michael support the Mars Society’s

help prepare the remote outpout for a 365-day simulated

Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) as flight surgeons.

Mars mission that will begin in 2014.

Associate Member Paul Pillar served as Test Conductor

Training Officer Erik Seedhouse’s eleventh book, SpaceX:

for the high altitude, long endurance unmanned aerial

Making Commercial Spaceflight a Reality, hit the shelves

vehicle the Boeing Phantom Eye on its third flight.

in June. He wrapped up writing his next book, Suborbital,

Associate Member Michael Parkhill attended the Texas

which will be available late in 2013. Erik is now updating

Commercial Space Workshop held at Texas A&M in October.

his best-selling title Tourists in Space for a second edition

He participated in focus groups on space education in Tex-

and is writing his autobiography. Erik continues to regular-

as with the university’s Space Engineering Research Center,

ly compete in triathlons and recently came in third place in

the Governor’s office, CASIS, XCOR Aerospace, Blue Origin,

his age division at the Lavaman 2013 race in Hawaii.

CSF Suborbital Applications Research Group and the Texas

Flight Member Mindy Howard was busy with her busi-

Workforce Commission. In July, he and his students attend-

ness, Inner Space Training (IST), which prepares people for

ed the 2nd Space Hacker Workshop in Dallas and learned

the psychological impacts of spaceflight. In February, she

proposal writing for flying experiments in space.

spoke on “Reconnecting with your Dreams” at the Connect-

In addition, several A4H members were involved with

ing Women event in The Hague. She then hosted an IST

supporting the NASA-funded HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Ex-

training workshop on “peak performance” for space enthu-

ploration and Analog Simulation) program, where a crew

siasts near Amsterdam in May. On June 10, Mindy spoke

of six was sequestered in a remote habitat on the slope of

about IST as the featured guest on The Space Show, and

Mauna Loa from April to August 2013 for a 120-day simu-

she spoke about A4H and IST to the Dutch Space Society in

lated Mars mission. A4H President Brian Shiro served as

September. Mindy introduced Inner Space Training to the

the manager for the HI-SEAS Mission Support team, which

top brass of the Dutch Air Force at their “100 Year Celebra-

included A4H members Brennan Callan, Joseph Gruber,

tion Symposium” and discussed areas of future coopera-

Jamie Guined, Susan Jewell, and Jonna Ocampo.

tion between the enterprises.


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Awards and Academic Achievements Flight Member Luis Zea was selected as one of only two recipients nationwide for the AIAA Orville and Wilber Wright Graduate Award, which is given annually to commemorate the Wrights’ contributions to flight. Associate Member Kavya Manyapu received the Outstanding Alumna of the Year Award from Georgia Perimeter College, where she began her studies as a new immigrant from India in 2002. In October, Kavya was recognized with the Boeing Defense and Space Exploration Top Talent award, which sent her to Washington DC to network with Boeing Government Operations. A4H President Brian Shiro and Associate Member Michael Parkhill received Exemplary Service Awards, and Associate A B O V E Flight Member Mindy Howard experiences spatial disorientation, sensory illusions and other effects at SIRIUS Astronaut Training.

Member Casey Stedman received a Dedicated Service Award for public outreach via the Suborbital Applications Research Group (SARG) Ambassadors Program.

biomedical research for manned spaceflight.

Associate Member Susan Jewell completed the Princi-

Associate Member Paul McCall was selected as Universi-

ples in Aerospace and Space Medicine course through

ty Ambassador for Florida International University to the

the UTMB residency training program, which prepares

Florida Space Grant Consortium.

physicians for operational aspects of space medicine and

Associate Member Karina Descartin graduated from Wright State University with an MS in Aerospace Medicine, adding to her previous MD. Associate Member and former Flight Member Bruce Davis completed his PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder on spacecraft thermal management. Associate Member Gary Livesay completed an MS in Aerospace Engineering from Florida Institute of Technology on space propellant depots, and Associate Member Gail Gutowski finished her MS in Geoscience from the University of Texas at Austin on the stability of Greenland’s ice sheet. This past winter, she spent two months in remote Antarctica collecting aerial geophysical data from a DC-3 to study the stability of the West Antarctic ice sheet.

A B O V E Flight Member Luis Zea — shown here at the 2013 NSRC — was

awarded the AIAA Wright Graduate Award.





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On 3 June 2013, Astronauts for Hire announced the selection of its 2013 class of commercial astronaut candidates: David Ballinger, Jessica Cherry, Michael Gallagher, Jamie Guined, Tanya Estes, and Aaron Persad. These Flight Members will train with the organization and prepare for future suborbital and orbital research missions. To mark the occasion, we’re expanding our “Meet an A4H” feature to include all six of the new Flight Members. 15



David Ballinger Tell us a little about yourself. What are you passionate about and how did you get to be where you are today? Ballinger: I’ve always been obsessed with the concept of manned space flight and flying to the Moon. When I was growing up, the only way to become an astronaut was through the American NASA program, which primarily recruited aviators from the US military. At an early age I realized that my citizenship status was not endearing my chances of joining the ranks of Cernan, Young, Scott,

“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity all my life. Let’s go.”

Shepard, Conrad and Armstrong, so I put that dream on hold for many years. The advent of the Space Shuttle

during my high school years further deflated my dream of getting to the Moon. Low Earth Orbit seemed pale in comparison to getting my boots dusty a quarter million miles from home. Regardless, I couldn’t shake the draw of defeating gravity, and during my first year of college I ended up completing a research project on the causation behind the ill-fated Apollo 1 fire. Pragmatic acceptance of Canada’s reluctance to enter the human spaceflight domain clearly staring me down, I pursued the next best aviation option – joining the Air Force and getting world-class training, flying high performance aircraft globally under extremely adverse conditions. Fortunately, the Ansari X Prize eventually cracked open the door for the rest of the world to commercial human spaceflight [Editor’s note: David was the Chief Astronaut for X Prize competitor Canadian Arrow.]. Sometimes patience is a virtue, but I do wish it would hurry up. I think the world has waited long enough.

Why did you apply be an A4H Flight Member, and what do you hope to achieve as an A4H Flight Member? Ballinger: For me, there simply is no other option—the achievement of spaceflight is my raison d’être for this lifetime. Period.

What do you see as the most exciting developments on the commercial spaceflight horizon, and how might you fit into the picture? Ballinger: Tourism is the obvious immediate draw. Rock stars and Hollywood actors are paving that route. But it needn’t be only for the rich. Money shouldn’t be the sole fulcrum to lift this planet off its stagnant scientific, economic, social and ultimately evolutionary axis. It should be driven by vision, ingenuity, perseverance, dedication, and hard work. All of the A4H Flight Members exemplify these intangible qualities. A4H can be the vanguard for the next generation


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of explorers, scientists, and global agents of change. I’ve been waiting for this opportunity all my life. Let’s go.

Can you offer any advice to other aspiring commercial astronauts? Ballinger: Never give up. Never. Ever. Especially if people tell you that you can’t do it (I’m looking at you, High School Career Counselors).

Jessica Cherry Tell us a little about yourself. What are you passionate about and how did you get to be where you are today? Cherry: I am a Research Professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks focused on hydrology and climate sciences. I’m also a commercial pilot and I run a small company called Northern Science Services. Quite passionate about exploration and scientific discovery, these past few years I have done a lot of research with small aircraft in Alaska. During college, I was first exposed to artificial life support systems and space studies while spending a semester at the Biosphere2 facility. I ended up pursuing my Masters degree in Physical

“…the ability to keep my ‘day jobs’ while pursuing further training via A4H is the perfect fit for me.”

Oceanography and participating in four research cruises on ships that also served as life support systems. A NASA fellowship helped me complete my PhD, and I began building remote weather station networks. After moving to Alaska, the obvious method of managing these instrumentation networks was by learning to fly, and I guess that is how I got to where I am today. I enjoy research and discovery, but I also am interested in engineering and logistics; I end up spending as much of my time on the latter as the former.

Why did you apply be an A4H Flight Member, and what do you hope to achieve as an A4H Flight Member? Cherry: I think my experiences have prepared me very well to be an astronaut. I was an interviewee for the 2013 NASA class, but I think the ability to keep my ‘day jobs’ while pursuing further training via A4H is the perfect fit for me. I look forward to learning from my new colleagues in this community and contributing my knowledge in turn.

What do you see as the most exciting developments on the commercial spaceflight horizon, and how might you fit into the picture? Cherry: My hope is that the growth in the commercial sector will put space-



ISSUE 5 flight back on the rapid trajectory the world saw a few decades ago. It would be an honor to help contribute to this effort however I can.

Can you offer any advice to other aspiring commercial astronauts? Cherry: Well, I don’t think I’m in much of a position to offer advice to other aspiring astronauts, but first and foremost, enjoy the journey and each stop along the way. With that, you can’t go wrong.

Michael Gallagher Tell us a little about yourself. What are you passionate about and how did you get to be where you are today? Gallagher: I practice rural family medicine in hospitals and clinics of small communities in Alberta, Canada. Preventing and treating illness in people who have less access to physicians is an honor for me. As a bonus, my work is an incredible analog for space exploration given the limited medical resources in the places where I work. How I arrived here in my journey has been a

“My passion for space solidified when I visited a memorial of fallen astronauts…”

combination of tenacity, hard work, and serendipity. My passion for space solidified when I visited a memorial of fallen astronauts while doing an aerospace medicine elective at the Kennedy

Space Centre. Reading the biographies of those who gave their lives simply to push humanity a step further towards understanding our planet and what lies beyond deeply moved me. No privilege would be greater than contributing to their legacy as a commercial astronaut.

Why did you apply be an A4H Flight Member, and what do you hope to achieve as an A4H Flight Member? Gallagher: Astronauts4Hire gives me a chance to help usher in the next era of space exploration with phenomenal individuals who share a similar passion. Becoming a Flight Member has offered me a unique challenge to develop skills I will need to contribute effectively to this goal. I feel privileged that the people of our dynamic organization have entrusted me with such a role.

What do you see as the most exciting developments on the commercial spaceflight horizon, and how might you fit into the picture? Gallagher: For me, there are two areas of commercial spaceflight development I hope to be involved in. Firstly, I would be honored to expand


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this great frontier as a commercial astronaut performing medicine or research work. Secondly, I hope to cultivate entrepreneurial ideas that will make space travel more accessible to others.

Can you offer any advice to other aspiring commercial astronauts? Gallagher: See how what you have done already on Earth can be applied to space exploration. Then, determine how the lessons you learn from your missions can benefit the world. With this mindset, great things are possible!

Jamie Guined Tell us a little about yourself. What are you passionate about and how did you get to be where you are today? Guined: Since very early childhood the one goal, or desire, that has driven me to overcome many obstacles in life and to “stay the course” is the goal of one day becoming an astronaut. This goal has led me to many places and along several different paths in life, all of which have afforded me varied and unique experiences and a plethora of learning opportunities. In fact, it is that desire that led me to my current job as an Exercise Scientist with the University of Houston supporting health & human performance research

“Discipline and perseverance are necessities.”

at the NASA Johnson Space Center. As a scientist in the US space program, I feel the primary reason that human

spaceflight is so important to humanity is because of the scientific and technological infrastructure that must exist, and continuously evolve, in order to support continued human spaceflight capability and exploration. These same advances in science and technology that facilitate progress in human spaceflight also have many meaningful and useful applications for the betterment of life here on Earth.

Why did you apply be an A4H Flight Member, and what do you hope to achieve as an A4H Flight Member? Guined: After learning more about Astronauts4Hire and the organization’s mission, I decided to apply for selection as an A4H Flight Member so I could help further the development of human commercial spaceflight, while also achieving my lifelong dream of becoming an astronaut! Becoming a commercial scientist astronaut with A4H will enable me to experience and research first-hand, many of the challenges and effects of spaceflight on human physiology and performance, thereby advancing my knowledge and under-



ISSUE 5 standing of how to better develop effective countermeasures hardware and programs for the preservation of crew health and human performance. If humanity is to take that next “giant step” and venture beyond Low Earth Orbit, we still have plenty of work to do in the space life sciences arena in terms of truly understanding how to best protect crew health in order to achieve mission success when we reach our next destination. My goal as a commercial scientist astronaut is to support such work.

What do you see as the most exciting developments on the commercial spaceflight horizon, and how might you fit into the picture? Guined: I find the commercialization of manned (not just unmanned) spaceflight to be the most exciting because it ushers in a new era of human space exploration that brings with it endless opportunities to advance science, technology, and our understanding of not only the universe, but life on Earth. I am very excited and grateful to be involved in the commercialization of space at such an early stage of development, and look forward to supporting suborbital and/or orbital research that will lead to new technological and scientific advancements.

Can you offer any advice to other aspiring commercial astronauts? Guined: To quote Jim Rohn, “Goals. There’s no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There’s no telling what you can do when you believe in them. There’s no telling what will happen when you act upon them.” Follow your passions, never stop learning, network, and get involved. Discipline and perseverance are necessities.

Tanya Estes Tell us a little about yourself. What are you passionate about and how did you get to be where you are today? Estes: I am originally from Cleveland, Ohio and grew up close to Cleveland Hopkins airport. Lying in the backyard watching planes take off and land, I knew I wanted to fly at a very young age. Seeing the first Space Shuttle launch on TV in 1981, I got goosebumps and chills and knew that’s what I wanted to do with my life. I had four different jobs in high school to pay for

“Seeing the first Space Shuttle launch on TV in 1981, I got goosebumps and chills…” 20

my pilot’s license, soloing at 16 and earning my private pilot’s license at 17. This early training helped prepare me for becoming an Army

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Aviator several years later, flying the AH-64 Apache. I am passionate about my family. I have a daughter, Morgan, who will turn 13 next month. We love spending time together doing things we enjoy; it has been especially fun watching her develop as a diver, having earned her PADI Junior Open Water certification a few summers ago, allowing us to become dive buddies and share in the underwater world. I love to explore and study, constantly learning about the world and universe we live in and I want to add the body of human knowledge and understanding. These passions and a lot of persistent training and work have gotten me to where I am today.

Why did you apply be an A4H Flight Member, and what do you hope to achieve as an A4H Flight Member? Estes: I applied to become an A4H Flight Member because I believe that commercial spaceflight is going to grow dramatically over the next few years. My hope is to serve as an explorer, researcher and guide for others who wish to partake in what space has to offer, from scientific developments to providing wonder and inspiration for the next generation.

What do you see as the most exciting developments on the commercial spaceflight horizon, and how might you fit into the picture? Estes: Commercial spaceflight is about to become a huge part of everything we do in Low Earth Orbit and beyond. A4H has the ability to provide a wide variety of specialists in disciplines that may enhance government astronaut crews or provide the foundation for commercial crews. We represent a myriad of backgrounds, from medicine and the military to geology and atmospheric studies. The A4H cadre will have the experience and training to serve as astronauts, but also as consultants for projects that may require an intimate knowledge of the rigors of launch, recovery and the microgravity environment. I hope to provide another set of skills to the pool of developing astronauts in A4H.

Can you offer any advice to other aspiring commercial astronauts? Estes: The best advice for aspiring commercial astronauts is to study an area that interests you and is of value in a space program. Currently, that would mean considering technical, scientific and medical careers. That paradigm is going to change in the future to include people from all academic pursuits as more and more men and women live and work in space. Lead an active lifestyle that will allow you to handle the challenging scenarios an astronaut may face, both physically and mentally. Always be an active learner, seeking out new people and situations. Leave your comfort zone, and learn to work as an integral part of a team of professionals.




Aaron Persad Tell us a little about yourself. What are you passionate about and how did you get to be where you are today? Persad: I am a PhD candidate in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto. My research with the Thermodynamics and Kinetics Laboratory (TKL) investigates how liquids evaporate, with important applications to climate models of the Earth and other planets as well as industrial processes. I have always been interested in using the freefall environment to

“…the future of Space Sciences will require a synergetic approach with life and physical sciences working together.”

study processes that cannot be studied on Earth, which is why I chose to work with TKL due to their experience with freefall platforms such as drop towers,

parabolic aircraft, sounding rockets, the Space Shuttle, and the International Space Station. Throughout my academic career, I have observed that life and physical sciences are often treated as mutually exclusive. I believe that the future of Space Sciences will require a synergetic approach with life and physical sciences working together to better understand the world around us. I believe that this will lead to new technologies too.

Tell us a little about yourself. What are you passionate about and how did you get to be where you are today? Persad: I have always been intrigued by images and videos of astronauts floating in space. When I was young, I wanted to become an astronaut because I thought it was the only way to experience weightlessness, but during my internship with the Canadian Space Agency, I had the opportunity to fly on the Falcon-20 parabolic aircraft and experience weightless! I realized that astronauts are proxies for the researchers whose experiments they perform in space. One reason I applied to be an A4H Flight Member was precisely for the opportunity to perform experiments in space. As a researcher, I have come across many scientific questions that can only be answered in the weightless environment of space, and I would love to one day run my own experiment in space. My experience as a Flight Member with A4H will give me the experience I need to understand the logistics and ergonomics of building hardware for use in space.

What do you see as the most exciting developments on the commercial spaceflight horizon, and how might you fit into the picture? Persad: I am excited when I see competition in the commercial space flight


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industry. Just as the space race led to the first human on the Moon, I believe that healthy competition between private companies will lead to more spaceflight opportunities for tourists and scientists. Competition will make space accessible to more people and increase the demand for commercial astronauts. I believe that eventually the number of commercial astronauts will surpass the number of astronauts from government agencies. As a Flight Member with A4H, it is my goal to show that commercial astronauts can also be world-class researchers.

Can you offer any advice to other aspiring commercial astronauts? Persad: Commercial spaceflight is still in its infancy, and now is a great time for anyone to become involved in shaping this industry. I believe that as scientists begin to use commercial spaceflights to fly their experiments, there will be more demand for commercial astronauts to operate those experiments. My advice for aspiring commercial astronauts is to get research experience in as many different fields of science as they can. I would also encourage them to become actively involved in the commercial spaceflight community. Joining A4H is a great way to learn what qualifications the industry is looking for in commercial astronauts.




by Paul McCall As a primary focus of the A4H mission— the continual pursuit of knowledge and its application for the betterment of our community — many members make time to reach out to colleagues and students to share their experiences and expertise. Some give beyond their work and training activities to pay forward opportunities they’ve been given, while others want to inspire youth by bringing to life the possibilities of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers. This outreach is impacting communities, universities, and professional societies in a real and positive way. The following are a few activities conducted by A4H members around the world.

A B O V E Kavya Manyapu, with student participants in a University of Houston Mars rover competition.

Flight Member Luis Zea continues to advise his alma mater, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, on their first entry in the international CanSat competition organized by AIAA and AAS. This program allows engineering students to work through the whole life cycle of a complex technical project simulating the design, construction and flight of a can-sized satellite. Associate Member Kavya Manyapu was invited as a speaker by the Museum of Flight, in Seattle, Washington for the “Women Fly” event celebrating 50 years of women in space. Alongside a Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientist, she addressed over 300 students on the topic “From Earth Orbit to Mars, Launching Your Career as a Space Scientist.” She introduced the crowd to A4H and shared her love for space exploration and her aspirations to be an astronaut. The talk was featured in the museum’s Aloft magazine.


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Kavya also participated in numerous other events. She was a judge at a University of Houston competition for student-designed Mars rovers and participated in the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s “Girls Exploring Math and Science” event. At an Indian convention in Dallas, she addressed some 400 people about pursuing their dreams. She also spoke to high school and college students in Boston for an Indian community youth event conducted by charity organization Seshu Strong via webcast. She supported the NASA Aerospace Scholars program as a presenter on Human Mars Exploration and as a judge for a PDR panel in July. Kavya also mentored Washington Aerospace scholars virtually to help them consider career options including space exploration. She was a panel speaker on the Space/Aeronautics track at the National Convention of American Society of Engineers of Indian Origin in DC, presenting on the topic “Boeing CST100 — Advancing the Commercial Space Paradigm.” Associate Member Gail Gutowski actively participated in STEM outreach, volunteering with the organization GirlStart to promote girls’ STEM education. In March, GirlStart was featured at a booth at the Texas State Capitol for NASA Space Day. Gail and others from GirlStart guided visiting students in designing and constructing their own asteroid landers to demonstrate space travel’s demands on technology, science, and human performance. Gail will also be addressing a group of teachers attending a workshop for the EarthLabs Climate Project. Her presentation will focus on understanding uncertainty in climate science, with a goal of improving climate literacy by improving science education. Flight Member Brian Shiro regularly performs STEM outreach related to earth science and natural disaster safety. His activities included advising FIRST LEGO League teams in the “Nature’s Fury” robotics competition, speaking to Kawananakoa Middle School sixth graders about geophysics, and helping Wheeler Middle School eighth graders conduct a seismic field exercise.






Janna Kaplan SIRIUS About Astronaut Training By Brian Shiro

A4H Flight Member Mindy Howard takes on the challenges of SIRIUS training .


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Janna Kaplan is the Senior Scientist and Lead of the SIRIUS Astronaut Training Program, located at Brandeis University’s Ashton Graybiel Spatial Orientation Laboratory in Waltham, Massachusetts. For over thirty years she has studied human adaptation to space flight in microgravity, high gravity, and transitional gravity environments. Through SIRIUS Astronaut Training, she leads a training protocol in sensorimotor human factors for commercial astronauts and payload specialists.

Can humans effectively mitigate the potentially debilitating problem of space motion sickness using your training protocol? Is this more of an issue for short-duration suborbital or longer orbital missions?

Tell us about SIRIUS Astronaut Training and your role.

SIRIUS training will give participants awareness of their

One may think that in a relatively brief suborbital flight, motion sickness will not be an impediment. Yet, based on the SIRIUS staff’s extensive (over 30 years!) experience conducting research in parabolic flight, we know that motion sickness is a factor to reckon with. Under stress and severe time pressure, especially if free-floating or head movements are performed during any stage of suborbital flight but particularly in high G, motion sickness symptoms are likely to be elicited and may compromise task performance as well as general comfort and flight enjoyment.

individual motion sickness susceptibility and symptom-

SIRIUS Training protocols focus on sensorimotor human factors of spaceflight such as motion sickness, spatial disorientation, spatial illusions,

is a tremendous individual variability in human “Theresusceptibility and adaptation ability to motion sickness. ”

and movement

atology; in addition, we will also determine if one may be preadapted or desensitized (non-pharmaceu-

tically, without medications which have detrimental side

errors in changing gravitoinertial force environments.

effects) to motion sickness. There is a tremendous indi-

What is sensorimotor human factors training, and why is it important for space travelers?

vidual variability in human susceptibility and adaptation

Participants in private or commercial space flight need to

may or may not be able to partially or fully adapt, but all

ability to motion sickness. Individuals who are susceptible participants will — as a result of SIRIUS Training — acquire

be aware of the experiences they would likely encounter,

a degree of predictive ability with regard to their personal

trained to withstand such experiences in relative comfort, and trained to execute tasks if they are payload specialists

motion sickness performance in situations of flight.

hired by a sponsoring institution. Participants also need

How often should one undergo SIRIUS training to ensure optimal preparation for spaceflight?

to know how their own bodies will respond and adapt to these new environments.

To achieve awareness of the human factors’ issues described

Thus, our training focuses on sensorimotor human factors

above, including motion sickness and disorientation, and tak-

such as motion sickness, spatial disorientation, move-

ing into account the fact that one’s motion sickness ‘signature’

ment errors, sensory illusions, and movement control in

does not change much over time, a single training protocol

spaceflight-analog environments.

lasting 1.5-2 days is sufficient. On the SIRIUS website, it is listed as Protocol A. I call it Awareness through Exposure.




See also Protocol 1 (for parabolic flight). Additionally, we

In my view, the future of human spaceflight in the U.S is

offer several longer programs lasting 1-2 weeks that are

now in the hands of commercial spaceflight. The role of

geared towards expanded spaceflight preparation. See

government is more in the sponsoring/financial realm

for example Protocols B and C under the Human Factors

as well as regulatory, but not as the launch provider. The

tab, and Protocols 2 and 3 under the Parabolic Flight tab.

opportunities are huge and extremely exciting for all

Those are customized according to individual trainees’

potential participants. Opening spaceflight to non-career

needs, and may include training for specific mission tasks

astronauts will deepen public interest, expand research

for those individuals who already have flight assignments.

and technological advancement, increase numbers of available human subjects (as many of the space tourists

In your career, you have flown hundreds of microgravity parabolas on dozens of missions. What lessons have you learned about preparing for and conducting research in that environment?

already want to volunteer for research testing), and will undoubtedly provide inspiration and much needed energy to the STEM curriculum in our schools. Regarding challenges, as our very recent turmoil with the government

It is a very stressful environment that requires tremen-

shut-down has shown that fusion between government

dously detailed and rigorous preparation, which should

and private sector may be unpredictable and debilitating.

include not only practicing performance tasks, but

The private sector would need to build in some serious

also streamlining equipment deployment after takeoff and stowing for landing. If human subjects or animal subjects

protections against the dysfunctional

…the future of human spaceflight in the US is now in the hands of commercial spaceflight.

are involved, the

government in times of crisis — a huge challenge!

As an expert in human adaptation to unusual force environments, what advice can you offer to aspiring commercial astronauts?

set-up is also time consuming and, to preserve 0 G time, will likely have to be done during straight-and-level flight and in high G phases of parabolas. All this deployment and setting up involves head and/or whole body movements which are

Practice of tasks, preparation in fitness and endurance are

nauseogenic. Hence, motion sickness in experimenters

very important. But an understanding of the spaceflight

and in subjects is a huge factor to be dealt with and to

environment, of the human factors of flight, and of the

account for. The same with goes for disorientation.

technology involved in your tasks will give you a tremendous advantage as a researcher or mission specialist. If you

In my experience, because of the relative brevity of

are just flying for the thrill of it, do spend some extra time

phases of parabolic flight’s or suborbital flight’s parabo-

(and money!) and get pre-adapted with regard to disori-

las, and due to motion sickness or disorientation’s latency

entation and motion sickness. It’ll be worth

and lags, the whole parabolic flight should be viewed

every penny!

as a continuous G-transition – an environment where all human factor limitations are amplified.

What’s your opinion about the current shift to commercial human spaceflight? What opportunities and challenges does it present for space research and training? 28

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Image: NASA


Orbital Science Cygus Docks with ISS

Moon, but also the first ever mission to the Moon’s south pole. The primary instrument, the International Lunar Ob-

Orbital Sciences successfully launched its Antares rocket

servatory (ILO), will conduct astrophysical observations and

from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on September

will have internet-based access and control so that anyone

18 carrying the Cygnus cargo logistics spacecraft. On

on Earth can access data from the instrument. “The mission

September 29, Cygnus docked with the International

will provide a historic landing in an unexplored region of the

Space Station (ISS), making Orbital the second com-

Moon that may harbor some of the greatest resource depos-

mercial company capable of delivering cargo to the ISS.

its in the solar system,” said Moon Express CEO Bob Richards.

Cygnus, developed as part of Orbital’s Commercial Orbital


Transportation Services (COTS) joint research and devel-

Image: Moon Express/ILOA

opment initiative with NASA, delivered 700 kg of cargo, including food, clothing and experimental equipment. It was filled with up to 800 kg of disposable cargo before its departure from ISS on October 22. “This entire COTS demonstration mission has been executed in textbook fashion by the joint NASA and Orbital teams,” said Orbital President and CEO David W. Thompson. ARTICLE |

Moon Express Races for First on Lunar South Pole The International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA) is partnering with Google Lunar X-Prize team Moon Express

A B O V E Moon Express and ILOA are planning the first private-enterprise landing on the yet-to-be-explored South Pole of the Moon.

to launch not only the first private enterprise mission to the


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Planetary Resources Raises $1.5 Million For ARKYD Space Telescope Over 17,600 backers helped Planetary Resources Inc. (PRI) reach their $1 million Kickstarter fundraising goal to launch the world’s first crowd-funded space telescope. “The crowd-funded ARKYD telescope is for the people,” said Co-Founder and Co-Chairman Eric Anderson. “Space exploration is now something that we all can actively join, not merely passively watch.” Because PRI exceeded its funding goal, they will build an extra ground station and develop the Asteroid Zoo online platform that enables the public to find asteroids from home while training computers to automate the search in the future. ARTICLE |

3D Printer Tackles Microgravity, ISS Next in 2014 The first 3D printer designed for use in microgravity successfully passed a series of microgravity tests at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Made In Space, the startup designing the printers, conducted tests aboard four microgravity flights, each lasting two hours. The final version is scheduled to be launched to the ISS in 2014. “The version that will

SpaceX Grasshopper Lands After Half-Mile Leap

arrive on the ISS next year has the capability of building an

SpaceX’s vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing vehicle

estimated 30% of the spare parts on the station, as well as

Grasshopper flew to an altitude of 744m, hovered, and

various objects such as specialty tools and experiment up-

soft-landed back on its launch pad on October 7. This

grades” says Microgravity Experiment Lead Noah Paul-Gin.

was a critical step in testing technologies required for


returning a rocket to Earth intact for reuse. During the September 29 Falcon 9 mission, SpaceX had two success-

B E L O W Noah Paul-Gin (left), Microgravity Experiment Engineering Lead, tests three Made in Space 3D printers in microgravity with team members Jason Dunn (center) and Mike Chen.

ful engine re-ignitions, further advancing their efforts to develop a completely reusable first stage.

Image: NASA


Space Frontier Foundation Announces NewSpace Business Plan Competition Winner $135,000 in prizes were up for grabs on October 24 in the biggest NewSpace Business Plan Competition yet. “The competition aims to assist and showcase new startups and expanding firms who can demonstrate both the ability to provide a return on investment and the




capacity to contribute to opening the space frontier,” said

recovery options for an emergency water landing. The

Thomas Olson, the competition’s director. Generation

test was done at Bigelow Aerospace in North Las Vegas,

Orbit Launch Services was awarded this year’s grand

Nevada, as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

prize of $100,000 — doubling last year’s award — for its

ARTICLE | http://

cost-effective, air-launched space transportation system

ARTICLE + VIDEO | http://

designed for small satellites.

Virgin Galactic Aces Second Powered Test Flight


Virgin Galactic completed a second supersonic flight test

Boeing Unveils Commercial Spacecraft CST-100

of SpaceShipTwo in early September, demonstrating all

Boeing held a media event on July 22 to unveil its CST-

mission phases in one flight and confirming readiness for

100 commercial spacecraft, which will carry humans to

commercial flights in 2014. Pilots Mark Stucky and Clint

the ISS as early as 2017. The event offered a first glimpse

Nichols ignited the hybrid rocket motor for 20 seconds,

of the crew capsule interior as astronauts Serena Aunon

reaching an altitude of 69,000 feet (21,000 m) before

and Randy Bresnik donned NASA’s iconic orange launch-

deploying the vehicle’s unique feathering system for

and-entry suits to test maneuverability inside the fully

re-entry. “The successful completion of all major aspects

outfitted test vehicle.

of the flight mission demonstrates that we are very close

The previous week, Boeing conducted a water recovery

to achieving one of Galactic’s key goals: commercializing

test to examine contingency landing scenarios. Associate

access to space for the broader public,” said Chairman of

Member Kavya Manyapu, who works on the CST-100

aabar Investments PJS, H.E. Khadem Al Qubaisi.

at Boeing, was one of the simulated flight crew testing


Image: NASA


A B O V E Associate Member Kavya Manyapu (second from left) works with other simulated flight crewmembers to test CST-100 water recovery options.


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SpaceX: Making Commercial Spaceflight a Reality An Excerpt from the New Book by A4H Member Erik Seedhouse January 23, 2012 marked the start of the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese calendar, and in May, SpaceX’s Dragon became the first privately developed spacecraft to visit the ISS. Space travel is one of the most difficult of all human endeavors, and success is never a guarantee. The Dragon flight introduced a series of new challenges and new magnitudes of complexity and, by docking with the ISS, SpaceX once again made history by becoming the first private company to send a spacecraft to the ISS. SpaceX — is a portrait of one of the most spectacular spaceflight triumphs of the 21st century, one that is laying the foundation for humanity to become a space faring civilization. Dragon is a spacecraft unlike any other. Not only is it the first privately developed spacecraft to successfully return from Earth orbit, it is also the only reusable spacecraft in operation today. It also happens to be another element in Elon Musk’s goal of making humanity a space-faring civilization, an objective that happens to be more a matter of economics than rocket science. Just as Elon Musk’s PayPal product took Internet payments that cost $0.40 or more per transaction via credit cards and made them free, his SpaceX rockets and spacecraft are going to revolutionize space travel with lower prices. While hu-

Image: NASA

B E L O W A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral on the Cargo Resupply Services 1 (CRS-1) mission to the International Space Station on October 8, 2012.



Image: Steve Jurvetson


A B O V E A Falcon 9 booster tank in production at the SpaceX facility in Hawthorne, California.

manity becoming a space-faring species may be inevitable in the long term, if personal income keeps growing, applying modern manufacturing, testing, control, and management techniques to spaceflight may allow us to see substantial strides this decade. Leading the charge will be SpaceX. SpaceX is applying modern manufacturing techniques such as friction stir welding and modern CAD and production data management techniques to build its rockets. It’s also developing its Falcon 1, 9, and other rockets in quick succession, reusing many components and design and manufacturing strategies. Not satisfied with business as usual, SpaceX doesn’t rely on decades-old space proven products or even the veteran aerospace testing firms; it builds new components and tests them in house. ‘SpaceX — the first 10 years’, is an account of commercial spaceflight’s most successful start-up. It describes the extraordinary feats of engineering and human achievement that have placed SpaceX at the forefront of the launch industry and positioned it as the most likely candidate for transporting humans to Mars. Since its inception in 2002, SpaceX has sought to change the space launch paradigm by developing a family of launch vehicles that will ultimately reduce the cost and increase the reliability of space access by a factor of ten. Coupled with the newly emerging market for private and commercial space transport, this new model will re-ignite humanity’s efforts to explore and develop space.


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This book describes how SpaceX is based on the philosophy that simplicity, low-cost, and reliability can go hand in hand. It explains how, by eliminating the traditional layers of management, internally, and sub-contractors, externally, SpaceX reduces its costs while speeding decision making and delivery. Likewise, by keeping the vast majority of manufacturing in house, the proposal explains how SpaceX reduces its costs, keeps tighter control of quality, and ensures a tight feedback loop between the design and manufacturing teams. Forged by Elon Musk in 2002, the founder of PayPal and the Zip2 Corporation, SpaceX has already developed two of the coolest new launch vehicles, established an impressive launch manifest, and been awarded COTS funding by NASA to demonstrate delivery and return of cargo to the ISS. Supported by this order book and Mr. Musk’s substantial resources, SpaceX is on an extremely sound financial footing as the company moves towards volume commercial launches. Although drawing upon a rich history of prior launch vehicle and engine programs, SpaceX is privately developing the Dragon crew and cargo capsule and the Falcon family of rockets from the ground up, including main and upper stage engines, the cryogenic tank structure, avionics, guidance & control software and ground support equipment. This book describes how, with the Falcon 1, Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles, SpaceX is able to offer a full spectrum of light, medium and heavy lift launch capabilities to its customers and how it is able to deliver spacecraft into any inclination and altitude, from low Earth orbit to geosynchronous orbit to planetary missions. The Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy are the only US launch vehicles with true engine out reliability. They are also designed such that all stages are reusable, making them the world’s first fully reusable launch vehicles. And the Dragon crew and cargo capsule, currently under development, will revolutionize access to space by providing efficient and reliable transport of crew and cargo to the ISS and other LEO destinations. This book explains how.

A4H congratulates Dr. Erik Seedhouse on the publication of his book and is proud to have him as a part of A4H team!




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The A4H News - Issue 5  

Astronauts4Hire's fifth newsletter is now available! Highlights in this issue include interviews with the new 2013 A4H Flight Member Class,...

The A4H News - Issue 5  

Astronauts4Hire's fifth newsletter is now available! Highlights in this issue include interviews with the new 2013 A4H Flight Member Class,...