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The

projectpossum new s

Summer2016

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The Project PoSSUM News: Summer 2016 PoSSUM, an acronym for Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and education organization that conducts research in our upper atmosphere and communicates the role of our upperatmosphere through its educational outreach programs.

Topics 

Project PoSSUM Completes Ground Testing of Prototype Spacecraft Seat designed around Final Frontier Design Spacesuits.

PoSSUM ‘Art of Science Communication’ Forum kicks off PoSSUM SciArts Program

Project PoSSUM to Perform In-Flight Operational Test of Prototype Spacesuit

Project PoSSUM Graduates 13 Scientist-Astronaut Candidates in Class 1601

PoSSUM Spacesuit Evaluators learn about landing and post-landing in inaugural Spacecraft Egress and Rescue Operations course

PoSSUM Debuts PoSSUMSim at the Next Generation Suborbital Research Conference

Project PoSSUM Completes Ground Testing of Prototype Spacecraft Seat designed around Final Frontier Design Spacesuits. Project PoSSUM announced today that it had completed the first phase ground evaluation of a spacecraft seat designed to accommodate the Final Frontier Design (FFD) 3G IVA spacesuit. The seat, designed and constructed by Integrated Spaceflight Services (ISS), is configurable for either vertical or horizontally launched vehicles and can support a wide range of impact loads and angles. The seat will be again tested in August with a head constraint and a harness system attached. In September, the seat will be sent to Ottawa, Ontario where a team of 16 Project PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Candidates will evaluate the seat in microgravity and high-G conditions through a series of four parabolic flights, extending upon phase-one tests that were successfully completed in October 2015. The first phase of tests evaluated the test subject’s range of motion tests, fine motor skills tests, seat egress and ingress tests, and assisted seat ingress tests through a series of four flights on a research aircraft modified for microgravity operations. “This second phase of testing will serve as a dry-run for a NASA-selected flight opportunity in which the suits will be evaluated fully pressurized.” said Dr. Jason Reimuller, Executive Director of Project PoSSUM. A Falcon 20 aircraft was chosen for its exceptional quality of microgravity that best approximates the space environment, as well as a cabin interior that best replicates several space vehicles being produced. The second phase of tests will test the prototype seat, the suit/seat interface, and a biometric monitoring system through a series of three flights. This test will also mature an in-flight suit pressurization system in preparation for ‘visor-down’ testing that was selected by NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program last December. “The purpose of these tests is to increase our technology readiness level (TRL) through human testing in a high fidelity, relevant environment. The results will be used to validate pressurized suit performance under live, unpredictable conditions and further our milestone goal of flight safety approval from the FAA AST.” says Ted Southern, President of FFD.

©2016 Project PoSSUM, Inc. All Rights Reserved


PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Candidate Dr. Ulyana Horodyskyj tests the seat and suit interface. The next stage will involve integrating the harness and head constraint.

PoSSUM ‘Art of Science Communication’ Forum kicks off SciArts Program Project PoSSUM hosted an interdisciplinary forum, titled “Project PoSSUM and the Art of Science Communication”, at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University on April 9, 2016. The forum focused on how astronautics enables science communication through human stories and artistic interpretation. The event was free and open to the public. The forum consisted of Dr. Nicole Stott (NASA Astronaut), Dr. Don Pettit (NASA Astronaut), Dr. Jason Reimuller (Executive Director of Project PoSSUM), Dr. Sarah Jane Pell (Australian Artist and Explorer), and Dr. Jancy McPhee (Executive Director of SciArt Exchange). The forum coincided with PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Class 1601 and marked the introduction of a new PoSSUM graduate program: the PoSSUM SciArts Program. This program works together with the SciArts Exchange to facilitate science communication through a diversity of artistic expression.

Project PoSSUM to Perform in-Flight Operational Test of Prototype Spacesuit Project PoSSUM will conduct its first in-flight evaluation of the Final Frontier Design (FFD) 3G IVA spacesuit in the cockpit environment this July 30, 2016. The test, to be conducted in a Mooney M20K aircraft from Boulder Municipal Airport, will assess the operational envelope and the ability of one wearing the suit to make fine controls of the aircraft.

©2016 Project PoSSUM, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Dr. Sarah Jane Pell is an Australian artist and explorer and also a graduate of PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Class 1601. During the flight, she will evaluate the spacesuit while she performed a variety of in-flight maneuvers, including standard-rate turns and climbs, engine power adjustments, and landing gear and flap extension and retraction. The Mooney aircraft was chosen because the cockpit has a volume and an operational envelope typical of existing spacecraft. Further, the aircraft’s controls require significant dexterity to operate. The test will be conducted as part of the PoSSUM Spacesuit Evaluation Program, an opportunity available for PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut and PoSSUM Academy graduates, and follows a ground evaluation test of the suit’s interface with a spacecraft seat. The next stage of evaluations will be held in Ottawa, Ontario from 10-14 October 2016 where a team of 16 Project PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Candidates will evaluate the seat in microgravity and high-G conditions through a series of four parabolic flights, extending upon phase-one tests that were successfully completed in October 2015. Assisting Dr. Pell in-flight will be PoSSUM research pilot Dr. Jason Reimuller and PoSSUM spacesuit technician Parker Rice.

Project PoSSUM Graduates 13 Scientist-Astronaut Candidates in Class 1601 Last April, PoSSUM graduated 13 new Scientist-Astronaut Candidates as part of PoSSUM Class 1601. The PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Program, designed by former NASA astronaut instructors and hosted by EmbryRiddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla., gives its candidates the skills to effectively conduct research on commercial space vehicles as part of an international research campaign dedicated to the study of our global climate. The PoSSUM graduates will now participate in several research programs, including a prototype spacesuit evaluation program, educational outreach programs, and technology development programs in preparation for suborbital research missions. The PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut program is an intense training curriculum that covers atmospheric science, remote sensing, celestial mechanics, particle scattering, spaceflight physiology and PoSSUM instrument operations. At Embry-Riddle, students received comprehensive spacesuit training, high-altitude and hypoxia awareness training, and aerospace physiology training with world-champion aerobatic pilot Patty Wagstaff. Students also received firsthand instruction on space-based imagery techniques from NASA astronaut Don Pettit. This Scientist-Astronaut class also hosted the first PoSSUM forum, titled “Project PoSSUM and the Art of Science Communication,” featuring artist, retired astronaut, and Embry-Riddle alumna Nicole Stott; astronaut Don Pettit; artist and explorer Dr. Sarah Jane Pell; neuroscientist and SciArt Exchange Executive Director Jancy McPhee; and Project PoSSUM Executive Director Dr. Jason Reimuller. The 13 graduating candidates include Axel Garcia Burgos of San Juan, Puerto Rico; Ahmed Farid of Munich, Germany; Tom Foltz of Fort Wayne, Ind.; Dr. Rui Moura of Porto, Portugal; Omar Samra of Cairo, Egypt; Maj. Michael Parkhill of Lindsay, Texas; Anima Patil-Sabale of San Ramon, Calif.; Dr. Sarah Jane Pell of Victoria, Australia; Lt. Dustin Wallace of Norfolk, Va.; Hampton Black of Tampa, Florida; Brien Posey of Rock Hill, South Carolina, and Andreea Radulescu and Dr. Erik Seedhouse, both of Toronto, Canada

©2016 Project PoSSUM, Inc. All Rights Reserved


PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Class1601 graduates from Embry-Riddle

PoSSUM Spacesuit Evaluators learn about landing and post-landing in inaugural Spacecraft Egress and Rescue Operations course Twelve Project PoSSUM graduates attend the inaugural ‘Spacecraft Egress and Rescue Operations’ course last April in Connecticut. This program is the first professional education course offered by Integrated Spaceflight Services and it is being exclusively provided to PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut and Academy graduates. The course was designed by several former NASA system engineers to address the need for adequate contingency mission planning in manned space missions. The course combined several weeks of preparatory lessons delivered virtually with an intense week-long program that combined two days of lectures and class projects with three days of practical skills training where students were exposed to aircraft ditching and egress training and sea survival training so that the students would have intuitive, practical understanding of a rescue operation. “Historically, if you have a contingency during a space mission and abort, where would you land?” asks Dr. Jason Reimuller, “Historically, international agreements and rescue and recovery plans have been in place to protect national space programs from these contingencies. How will contingency rescue plans be handled with international crews on commercial spacecraft?” The Spacecraft Egress and Rescue Operations course is offered annually in partnership with Survival Systems USA in Groton, CT. The next course is scheduled for 3-7 April, 2017.

PoSSUM Debuts PoSSUMSim at the Next Generation Suborbital Research Conference Project PoSSUM was a sponsor of this year’s Next Generation Suborbital Researcher’s Conference in Broomfield, CO. This conference brought together vehicle developers with the researchers in suborbital space. Project PoSSUM held a panel that was hosted by PoSSUM members Dr. Rui Moura, Jorge Latre, Blake Keller, and Dr. Jason Reimuller. PoSSUMSim was also debuted in the hotel lobby, where interested persons could fly through a noctilucent cloud on a simulated PoSSUM suborbital mission! The fifth Next Generation Suborbital Researcher’s Conference will be held in Broomfield, CO in June 2017.

©2016 Project PoSSUM, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Brian Shiro demonstrates the PoSSUMSim wearing a Final Frontier Design spacesuit at the Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference

Briefs PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Class 1602 set for 1-5 October, 2016 The deadline to apply for PoSSUM Scientist Astronaut Class 1602 is Monday, August 1. This course will be held from 1-5 Ocotber, 2016 at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL. This class will be limited to 12 participants. Interested persons should apply through the PoSSUM website.

PoSSUM Signs Exclusive Citizen-science Agreement with Final Frontier Design Project PoSSUM is proud to work with Final Frontier Design of Brooklyn, NY. for education services involving their spacesuits. Last March, PoSSUM signed an exclusive contract to be their citizen-science microgravity research partner. PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut and PoSSUM Academy graduates may get involved through the PoSSUM Spacesuit Evaluation Program. This program organizes microgravity research, high-G and high altitude research and also offers landing and post-landing courses, supporting the technological maturation of Final Frontier spacesuits. Project PoSSUM is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and education program. For more information, contact us at info@projectpossum.org.

Š2016 Project PoSSUM, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The Project PoSSUM News: Summer 2016  

PoSSUM, an acronym for Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere, is a non-profit research and education organization that conducts r...

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