27 December 2010

Press Release: Astronauts4Hire Seeks New Commercial Astronaut Candidates


December 27, 2010

Astronauts4Hire Seeks New Commercial Astronaut Candidates

Tampa, Florida – Have you ever wanted to be an astronaut? Do you have specialized scientific, engineering, or operational experience relevant to human spaceflight? Now is your chance to make your dreams come true! Astronauts4Hire is seeking candidates to expand its cadre of prospective commercial astronauts. Applications are due February 5, 2011 for full consideration in this selection cycle.

“Astronauts4Hire continues to grow along with the emerging private spaceflight sector,” says its President Brian Shiro. “We need more motivated, highly competent flight members to help build the organization and train for payload operation on upcoming missions.”

Flight members are the “astronauts for hire” who are eligible to receive training support from the organization and be hired for flight jobs, including parabolic trajectory microgravity research flights. Astronauts4Hire’s training program is designed to develop flight candidates for both suborbital flights, such as those that will soon be provided by Virgin Galactic and XCOR, and for orbital flights such as those envisioned by companies like SpaceX.

Individuals interested in becoming flight members can submit their application via the Astronauts4Hire website, http://www.Astronauts4Hire.org/p/join.html, before February 5, 2011. Finalists will be asked to provide an FAA Class 3 flight physical and verification of their academic credentials within 90 days of selection. Selections will be announced at the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference in Orlando, Florida by March 2, 2011.

20 December 2010

Test Flight Temporarily Put on Ice

Astronauts4Hire's first job testing Vostok Space Beer in microgravity will have to wait until February. The parabolic trajectory flight was originally scheduled for November 19 but had been postponed to December 18 by the request of the flight provider. Unfortunately, the December flight was recalled due to poor weather. The next available opportunity will be in late February.

All preparations for the experiment have gone smoothly, and everything is in order for when we receive the green light to fly. After our original September announcement of the contract to test beer in microgravity, Astronauts4Hire has received tremendous worldwide media attention.  We thank everyone who has shown an interest in this work and ask you to wait a while longer for the historic flight to take place.

From all of us at Astronauts4Hire, Happy Holidays!  Great things are in store for commercial human spaceflight in the coming year.  Look for another announcement from us soon how you can join us!

08 December 2010

Dragon Rises into History

Astronauts4Hire wishes to congratulate SpaceX on the successful launch of its Dragon spacecraft into low Earth orbit on a Falcon 9 rocket earlier today. The Dragon spent about 3 hours and 20 minutes orbiting the Earth twice before splashing down in the Pacific, where it was recovered. SpaceX joins a small club of only six space agencies that have successfully sent and recovered spacecraft from orbit.

SpaceX founder and CEO/CTO Elon Musk said of the history-making accomplishment, "It's hard to be articulate when your mind is blown." He had previously estimated only a 60% success rate for the flight, which turned out being "100 percent successful." No astronauts were aboard the Dragon capsule for its maiden flight, but Musk remarked that if it had been crewed, "they would have had a very nice ride." Perhaps someday A4H crews will travel to orbit on the Dragon.

This is good news for the future of human spaceflight. Through its COTS program, NASA has contracted SpaceX to develop supply services to the International Space Station (ISS).  On its second and third test flights next year, Dragon will journey to the ISS for rendezvous testing maneuvers and a first docking with the station. In a statement issued today, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said of the history-making mission:

This is the first in a new generation of commercial launch systems that will help provide vital support to the ISS and may one day carry astronauts into orbit. This successful demonstration flight is an important milestone ... and shows how government and industry can leverage expertise and resources to foster a new and vibrant space economy. These new explorers are to spaceflight what Lindbergh was to commercial aviation.

06 December 2010

A4H interview on the Space Business Blog

In an interview posted earlier today on the Space Business Blog, Astronauts4Hire President and co-founder Brian Shiro revealed for the first time some aspects of the A4H business plan. Topics in the interview ranged from the upcoming space beer test flight to A4H's long term growth strategy and range of services.

We wish to thank Space Business Blog author Colin Doughan for his continued interest in A4H; he first wrote about us in an August 2010 post titled "The Astronaut Company".

26 October 2010

Press Release: Astronauts4Hire offers limited time high profile Sponsorship Special


October 26, 2010

Astronauts4Hire offers limited time high profile Sponsorship Special

Tampa, Florida – For a limited time, Astronauts4Hire is offering a Sponsorship Special leading up to its inaugural mission testing the world’s first beer brewed specifically for drinking in space. During this promotion, sponsors contributing $1,000 or more will receive a shoulder logo on the flight suit worn by the Astronaut4Hire researcher during the historic flight. Sponsors of $5,000 or more will receive a logo on the chest of the flight suit and mention in all future press releases regarding the flight. With the high level of media attention expected, sponsors will gain extensive exposure to national and international audiences.

During the planned November 19, 2010 flight aboard Zero Gravity Corporation’s specially modified aircraft, the Astronauts4Hire flight researcher will sample the specially produced beer during periods of weightlessness and record biometric and qualitative data related to the beer’s drinkability. The Vostok Space Beer, produced as a joint venture between Saber Astronautics Australia and the 4-Pines Brewing Company, is a recipe designed to meet anticipated demand from the budding space tourism market while still being popular here on Earth.

The flight activity will be captured by multiple high-definition video cameras, and two international Discovery Channel shows are planned to film the flight for inclusion in upcoming features. Astronauts4Hire has already gained massive worldwide attention since it first announced the space beer testing mission in September. NPR, BBC, Time magazine, Discover magazine, Popular Science, and many others have already featured stories on the project.

Interested sponsors should contact Astronauts4Hire by November 5 to be eligible for the special promotion. All funds will support Astronauts4Hire’s mission to increase the competitiveness of commercial astronaut candidates by providing skills training, facilitating forums for candidate communication, engaging with potential employers, and inspiring the next generation.

12 October 2010

Press Release: Astronauts4Hire sponsors Next-generation Suborbital Researchers Conference


October 12, 2010

Astronauts4Hire sponsors Next-generation Suborbital Researchers Conference

Tampa, Florida – Astronauts4Hire is pleased to announce that it has become a sponsor of the 2011 Next-generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) to be held in Orlando, Florida from February 28 through March 2, 2011.

Brian Shiro, President and CEO of Astronauts4Hire, joined the conference's scientific organizing committee, chaired by Dr. Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. "Astronauts4Hire grew out of the 2010 NSRC," says Shiro, "so it is fitting that we give back to the suborbital research community by sponsoring the 2011 NSRC. This will be a prime opportunity for A4H to demonstrate how far it's come in its first year and where it's going in the future."

During the conference, members of Astronauts4Hire will give presentations on the organization in general, its qualification standards for suborbital astronauts, training plans, and initial results from the Vostok Pty Ltd space beer drinkability study done in collaboration with Saber Astronautics Australia and the 4 Pines Brewery on a Zero G Corporation flight planned for November 2010.

07 October 2010

A4H in the Spotlight

Astronauts4Hire has received worldwide attention since announcing its first job as the contracted flight researcher hired by Saber Astronautics Australia and the 4 Pines Brewery to test Vostok space beer in microgravity. To date, over 150 articles have appeared in the media ranging from blogs to magazines, newspapers, radio, and television. Here are some of the highlights:

Discover Magazine

Popular Science

TIME Magazine

Sydney Morning Herald

Discovery News


We've been on a number of radio and TV programs too:

Brian Shiro spoke with host Pascale Hartner on BBC's The World Today.

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Ben Corbin spoke with host Carol Off on CBC's As it Happens (23-28 minutes into the broadcast).

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Todd Romberger spoke with host Ed Wenck on WIBC Radio.

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Host Steve Inskeep discussed the space beer project on NPR's Morning Edition.

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Carl Kassel read a space beer themed limerick on NPR's Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!, and host Peter Sagal then explained the premise behind the beer testing project.

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Discovery Channel Canada's Daily Planet show discussed the space beer project in their "Weird Planet" segment. Watch the clip here:

22 September 2010

Press Release: Astronauts4Hire selected for Historic Microgravity Research Flight


September 22, 2010

Astronauts4Hire selected for Historic Microgravity Research Flight

Tampa, Florida – Astronauts4Hire’s inaugural mission as a contracted flight researcher will be testing the world’s first beer to be certified for drinking in space. The beer, produced as a joint venture between Saber Astronautics Australia and the 4-Pines Brewing Company (under the name Vostok Pty Ltd), is a recipe designed for easy drinking in both in microgravity and on Earth. It is intended to meet anticipated demand from the nascent space tourism market.

An Astronauts4Hire flight member has been hired as the primary flight operator for the non-profit organization’s first employment opportunity. Sampling the beer during weightless parabolas, the flight researcher will record both qualitative data on beverage taste and drinkability and biometric data on body temperature, heart rate, and blood alcohol content.

“Astronauts4Hire is living up to its name,” says its President Brian Shiro. “This opportunity is an important milestone for us and illustrates how researchers can hire our members to conduct experiments under conditions of microgravity.”

The first test is scheduled for mid November 2010 onboard a series of parabolic flights operated by the ZERO-G Corporation. This will be the first of a series of flights qualifying the recipe for consumption in space, funded in part by sales of the beverage on Earth. Astronauts4Hire is honored to be taking a prime role in this research as the payload operator.

19 September 2010

A4H Alli Taylor interviewed by "Around Space"

A4H member Alli Taylor had the privilege of being interviewed by Dr. Kent Miller, the host of Around Space.  Around Space, a public access television show in the Washington, D.C. metro area, is directed and produced by the local chapter of the National Space Society.  The show expressed interest in our new organization and was eager to lock-in an interview with one of our members.  Alli discussed the initiatives and capabilities of the Astronauts for Hire organization, emphasizing that A4H plans to be the matchmaker between astronaut candidates, spaceflight providers, and the research community.

"Besides discussing the exciting potential our organization holds within the space community, I really enjoyed the experience of being on a TV set followed by dinner with the crew!  I was honored to represent the organization, it was quite an experience."

Dr. Kent Miller (left) and A4H member Alli Taylor

21 August 2010

A4H Members Answer YOUR Questions About Professional Astronauts!

You asked, and we answered!

A few weeks ago, Dr. Ethan Siegel of the "Starts With A Bang!" blog asked his readers to send questions to Astronauts4Hire. Many readers responded, and Ethan chose the five best questions for us to answer.

Now we have responded with our answers to the five queries.  Plus, we have an extra-special surprise; in addition to full written responses, we have also provided video responses on our new Astronauts4Hire YouTube Channel. Below is our video response to Question #3: "What are your primary motivations and personal goals for wanting to be an astronaut? Was this your childhood dream? Is there a special scientific, engineering, patriotic, or personal aspiration that you hope to fulfill?"

You can see our other responses to questions #1: what is a commercial astronaut, #2: training, #4: tasks and missions, and #5: Mars on YouTube and on "Starts With A Bang!"  Keep an eye out for future video updates from Astronauts4Hire on our YouTube channel. Special thanks to Dr. Ethan Siegel for this public outreach opportunity!

17 August 2010

A4H Member flies "Coach" on ZERO-G

A4H member and ZERO-G Coach Todd Romberger flew aboard Zero Gravity Corporation’s G-FORCE ONE aircraft out of Dallas, TX last weekend with John Carmack and members of the Armadillo Aerospace team. The flight included one Martian gravity (1/3-G) parabola, two lunar gravity (1/6-G) parabolas, and twelve weightless (0-G) parabolas. This was Todd’s 21st flight as a ZERO-G Coach and brought his total parabolas to 329, equating to roughly 2 hours and 45 minutes of total microgravity time. Video of the flight, taken by Matt Ross of Armadillo Aerospace (with a little camerawork help from Todd), can be found on Armadillo’s YouTube channel.

13 August 2010

A4H Shiro interviewed for Pars3c blog

Astronautst4Hire President Brian Shiro is this week's featured space personality on the Pars3c blog.  In his engaging interview response, Shiro discusses how some of his past experiences led him to co-found A4H, what A4H has been doing so far, and his personal vision for the future of human spaceflight.

In the interview, Shiro explains how A4H will play an important role in defining what it means to be a commercial astronaut. When asked about the future of NASA and commercial human spaceflight, he replied:

Anyone following the discussions on NASA’s future lately has heard a lot about ... commercial vs. government ...  Although the term “commercial crew” is used often, people are usually talking the vehicles and not the astronauts.

In other words, the “crew” has largely been left out of the equation so far.  Astronauts4Hire is filling that void by building a viable solution for developing the commercial astronaut workforce.

Brian joins a long list of interesting people who have been past subjects of Pars3c High 5 posts, including astronauts Scott Parazynski and Kevin Ford.

Pars3c (pronounced “PAR-seck”) is a space blog written by Canadian journalist Elizabeth Howell.  Associated with the Space Tweep Society, her blog offers original articles on astronomy, spaceflight, and other space related topics.  We thank Elizabeth for interviewing Brian and helping spread the word about Astronauts4Hire.

02 August 2010

Have questions? Ask Us!

A4H is proud to announce an exciting opportunity for you to learn more about us.  We've teamed up with the popular science blog Starts With A Bang! (SWAB) to spread the message about A4H.

In the recent post titled "Ask A Commercial Astronaut Anything!", SWAB author Ethan Siegel frames what it means to be an astronaut in the context of the changing space program and how A4H is defining what it means to be a private astronaut.  Ethan concludes the post by challenging his readers to ask us anything they like.

If you could ask a commercial astronaut (in training) anything, what would it be?  So far, folks have posted 20 questions on the SWAB site.  By next week, we plan to answer at least the top five questions, perhaps in both written form and video form on the new A4H YouTube Channel.  Some of the questions may even find their way into our FAQ page.  Although A4H encourages interested parties to contact us at anytime with queries, the SWAB opportunity is a fun way to get people thinking about A4H's role in the commercial spaceflight revolution.

For more on the subject of the evolving astronaut workforce, a recent CNN.com article on "What will inspire tomorrow's rocket scientists?" is also worth a read.

16 July 2010

A4H in New Scientist magazine

New Scientist magazine has published an interview with A4H President Brian Shiro titled "Astronaut for hire: Space tourism will help science".  The article touches upon how commercial spaceflight will revolutionize suborbital science and how A4H plans to be a part of it.  More details about A4H are available on our FAQ page.

As the world's #1 science and technology news service, New Scientist is the most widely circulated science publication with a global readership of nearly 900,000.  The article is available online or on newsstands this week in the 17 July 2010 issue (Issue 2769).  A PDF version of the article is also available for download from the A4H website.  A4H thanks New Scientist for taking an interest in our organization and suborbital science.

12 July 2010

A4H Speaks to Waterloo Astronauts

A4H's own Dr. Erik Seedhouse spoke recently with the Waterloo Astronaut Training Corps (WATC) about astronaut training and the astronaut selection process.  Like his book by the same name, Seedhouse's talk was titled "Prepare for Launch: The Astronaut Training Process."  The entire 90-minute presentation is available for viewing online via the Waterloo Astronauts YouTube Channel in seven parts: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7.  Erik spent the last portion of his talk discussing A4H during part 7.

Erik was a top 30 candidate in the Canadian Space Agency's very selective 2008-2009 selection.  He spoke to WATC about his experiences in the astronaut selection process and introduced them to the technologies and myriad activities that constitute astronaut training such as simulators, emergency procedures, and virtual environment training.

WATC is a student group of motivated astronaut hopefuls at the University of Waterloo. In the same spirit as A4H, WATC brings together talented students and professionals to learn from each other and develop the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to be competitive as astronauts.  A4H wishes them well.

07 July 2010

A4H Co-Founder Named Executive Director of Yuri's Night

A4H co-founder Dr. Ryan Kobrick has been named the next Executive Director of Yuri's Night.  Effective July 1st, Ryan will be taking the position previously held by Yuri's Night co-founder Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides in leading the executive Global Team for Yuri's Night 2011. He will also be supervising the team’s Operations Committee, which manages the strategy, partnerships and internal affairs of Yuri’s Night.

Yuri's Night aspires to promote space and global cooperation by coordinating and hosting space-related celebrations all over the world every April 12. Yuri's Night 2011 will coincide with the 50th anniversary of human spaceflight (12 April 1961), as well as the 30th anniversary of the first Space Shuttle flight (12 April 1981).  April 12th is special to A4H as well, as it is the date when A4H officially came into existence, signaling the start of a new era of commercial human spaceflight. Inspiring the next generation is a critical component of both the A4H and Yuri's Night missions.

Official Yuri's Night Press Release: http://yurisnight.net/2010/07/yuris-night-2011-board-of-directors-finalized/

Dr. Ryan Kobrick at Yuri's Night Boulder 2010. Photo Credit: Amnon Govrin.

22 June 2010

A4H Endorses Open Letter To Congress On Commercial Space

Astronauts4Hire fully supports an open letter sent to Congress today by more than 50 space leaders, including our own Joseph Palaia. The letter urges Congress to fund the commercial crew to Space Station program and accelerate the pace of NASA's human exploration beyond Earth orbit.  These priorities are not mutually exclusive because a robust commercial crew and cargo program to low-Earth orbit will allow NASA to focus on deep space transportation and exploration systems.

Historically, governments have blazed the trail into new frontiers and paved the way for private enterprises to transform society. Queen Isabella publicly sponsored the voyage of Columbus, which in turn boosted worldwide trade. Thomas Jefferson publicly funded Lewis and Clark to venture west across North America, which opened the frontier for settlers 50 years later. Aviation is similar to human spaceflight; once airlines started competing to carry passengers farther and faster, prices went down, safety went up, and massive economic gain was generated as an emergent effect of this new industry. Opening space to commercial companies will do the same over time.

A4H is establishing itself as a leader in developing a pool of highly qualified astronauts who can be hired by companies as crewmembers on parabolic, suborbital, and orbital flights.  A4H plans to play a major role in the commercial crew initiative and in the process will actively reach out to students, inspiring them towards careers in space.

The full 10-page letter is available at SpaceRef.com or in PDF format from the Orlando Sentinel.

08 June 2010

A4H Ben Corbin at the Astronaut Hall of Fame

A4H Ben Corbin (right) with Astronaut Fred Haise (center)
Astronauts4Hire new recruit Ben Corbin attended the 2010 U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction Gala at the Kennedy Space Center this past weekend. Corbin, who is an Astronaut Scholarship recipient (2007-2008), also attended the pre-induction gala on Friday night, which included a dinner beneath the Saturn V rocket with many Hall of Fame astronauts from all U.S. human spaceflight programs. Astronauts attendees included Buzz Aldrin, Scott Carpenter, Walt Cunningham, Fred Haise, Owen Garriot, and Story Musgrave, among many others. This year’s inductees to the Astronaut Hall of Fame were Guion 'Guy' Bluford, Jr., Ken Bowersox, Frank Culbertson, Jr., and Kathy Thornton, all shuttle era astronauts. Corbin’s academic advisor, Jeffrey Hoffman, who is a Hall of Fame Astronaut, was also in attendance.

Corbin speaks with NASA Administrator Bolden.
On Saturday, the formal induction ceremony was held at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex and was hosted by Jon Cryer, co-star of Two and a Half Men. During the post-induction reception, Corbin spoke with NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden and shared his support for the new administration’s space plan, specifically the support of commercial spaceflight and how this plan is inspirational to younger generations. Throughout the weekend, Corbin and the other Astronaut Scholars had the opportunity to share meals with the Hall of Fame astronauts and present their research projects in a small conference hosted by Fred Haise. More photos of the event can be found at FirstPhotoStudio.com.

When will the first commercial astronaut be inducted into the Hall of Fame?  Will he or she be a test pilot for one of the new private space vehicles, a space tourist/entrepreneur, or an Astronaut4Hire scientist?

07 June 2010

Press Release: Astronauts4Hire expands its team of Commercial Astronaut Candidates


June 7, 2010

Astronauts4Hire expands its team of Commercial Astronaut Candidates

Astronauts4Hire announced today that it has selected six new members, bringing the total number of commercial astronaut candidates in the organization to seventeen. The new Astronauts4Hire recruits bring a great depth of experience to the initiative to develop a pool of qualified commercial astronauts. Many of them are private pilots with a long resume of experience working in the aerospace industry and have extensive experience working in microgravity aboard parabolic flights. One new member is a professional triathlete and author of several books on the topic of astronaut training.

The new Astronauts4Hire are:
Astronauts4Hire is a Florida non-profit organization whose mission is to increase the competitiveness of commercial astronaut candidates by providing skills training, facilitating forums for candidate communication, engaging with potential employers, and inspiring the next generation. The organization is in the process of developing a pool of highly qualified and well-trained commercial astronauts to serve the emerging suborbital, and eventually orbital science industry.

For more information about Astronauts4Hire, its initial astronaut candidates, and sponsorship opportunities, please visit: www.astronauts4hire.org

05 June 2010

A4H on Bytemarks Cafe

Brian (center) with hosts & other guests
A4H co-founder and President Brian Shiro was a featured guest on the June 2 episode of Bytemarks Cafe, a weekly science and technology radio show produced by Hawaii Public Radio.  The discussion considered A4H in the wider context of both human and robotic space exploration and focused particularly on the relevance of space to Hawaii.

You can listen to the show in full below:

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04 June 2010

A4H Congratulates SpaceX

Astronauts4Hire wishes Elon Musk and all of the hard-working people at Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) congratulations on the successful inaugural test launch of the Falcon 9 rocket. The vehicle's nine Merlin engines pushed it and a mockup of the Dragon spacecraft into orbit at 2:45pm today.  Telemetry showed the rocket's second stage and Dragon capsule hit "essentially a bullseye," according to Musk.  If you missed the live webcast, you can watch the launch video here:

Some A4H members viewed the Falcon 9 at Launch Complex 40 during tours associated with the STS-132 launch last month, and A4H's own Todd Romberger and Ben Corbin viewed the spectacle in person from KSC today.  We are excited about today's successful maiden launch because it signifies a major advance in commercial spaceflight.  Launch providers like SpaceX will provide routine access into low-Earth orbit, freeing NASA to explore elsewhere in the solar system.  Today's launch demonstrated that the private spaceflight industry may soon be ready to carry cargo and eventually astronauts into space.  In the process, access to destinations like the International Space Station and private space stations should become more affordable and routine.

02 June 2010

A4H at ISDC 2010

Team members discuss A4H with Buzz Aldrin
Astronauts4Hire Jim Crowell, Luis Saraiva, Ryan Kobrick, Veronica Ann Zabala-Aliberto, and new recruit Todd Romberger attended the National Space Society's International Space Development Conference (ISDC) held on May 27-31 in Chicago, Illinois. The conference allowed members to meet face-to-face and discuss the future of A4H.  It also provided an excellent forum for networking with others in the space community to increase awareness of A4H and it's mission. The group discussed A4H with Buzz Aldrin and several prominent members of the suborbital community including Dave Masten, President/CEO of Masten Space Systems, Jeff Feige, CEO of Orbital Outfitters, and Rick Homans, Director of Spaceport America.

The numerous talks and panels attended by the A4H team showed the incredible progress being made by the suborbital spaceflight industry. Masten Space Systems, Armadillo Aerospace, XCOR Aerospace, and Virgin Galactic all reported on their latest flight tests.  2011 will be a big year as many of the vehicles complete testing and become fully operational.  By 2012, regular commercial suborbital spaceflights should be a reality.

Luis and Todd with Dave Masten
Howard Chipman showcased the astronaut training program being offered by Aurora Aerospace, and Steven Collicott presented suborbital research opportunities discussed at the 2010 Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference, which was the focusing event that led to the founding of A4H.

ISDC was an extremely valuable experience for the A4H team. They were motivated by the promise of the space community and look forward to building upon the contacts and relationships gained.

27 May 2010

A4H Bruce Davis Speaks with Elected Members of Congress

Bruce discusses space policy with Senator Mark Udall of Colorado
Last week, A4H’s very own Bruce Davis traveled to Washington DC to educate congressional staffers and elected officials on the state of the space industry, and the importance of space exploration to the United States. Bruce was traveling with the Citizen’s for Space Exploration, a grassroots organization which annually travels to Capitol Hill to talk about space. This year, over 120 people (including 20 students) walked the halls of the legislative branch and visited over 350 congressional offices. For each visit, the volunteers engage the staffers by asking for their perspectives on the current NASA issues and in a bi-partisan manner fill in the gaps / misunderstandings that sometimes occur.

Outside the Senate Hearing
Room for Space Policy
The group makes sure that the staffers are aware of some key issues such as:  1) The human space flight gap which will begin this year and importanceof minimizing this, 2) The need to have strong governmental support (organized approach, stimulus, regulation) for commercial human access to low earth orbit, and 3) The importance of utilizing the international space station as a platform for scientific research. Bruce, now on his 4th trip to Capitol Hill met with delegates from Colorado, Wyoming, Oklahoma and Kansas.

It is important to the Astronauts4Hire team that congress understands the current issues pertaining to NASA and the funding shift proposed by President Obama. Like never before, a paradigm is being set to focus NASA’s need for human space flight on commercial entities. The decisions made within the next year in Washington will have a dramatic and long term effect on the rate of growth of the commercial human spaceflight industry and will set the standard for government regulation.

15 May 2010

A4H at the STS-132 Shuttle Launch

Astronauts4Hire Brian Shiro, Amnon Govrin, and Ryan Kobrick witnessed the final flight of the Atlantis orbiter as it thundered into orbit from the NASA Kennedy Space Center on May 14, 2010.  Govrin and Kobrick viewed the spectacle from the Vehicle Assembly Building as part of the NASA STS-132 Tweetup, and Shiro was on the West Causeway with some of his former MDRS crewmembers.

Afterward, they all attended the Space Tweep Society's 1st Anniversary Twelebration, where Astronauts4Hire was the topic of conversation among some of the tweeps present.  The next day, Shiro and Govrin met with fellow A4H Joe Palaia who showed them the site where the new Interspace attraction will be built.  Shiro and Palaia also toured some NASA facilities.  Meanwhile, Kobrick plans to spend a few days in Florida getting some rest and relaxation after his recent successful Ph.D. defense.


The entire A4H team has been very busy for the past month getting the organization's bylaws and organizational structure in order.  We are nearly ready to expand the team, plan our training in more detail, and fully launch into our fundraising activities.  Expect more updates on the A4H website soon.

22 April 2010

A4H Amnon Govrin on The Space Show

Astronauts4Hire co-founder Amnon Govrin called-in yesterday to The Space Show open-lines edition and discussed Astronauts4Hire and other topics (starting at 88 minutes).

Earlier on the show Astronauts4Hire was favorably mentioned by Paul Graham from OpenLuna.

You can listen to the show in full below:

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16 April 2010

A4H Bruce Davis at the Presidential Space Summit

A4H's very own Bruce Davis was among the select few invited to attend the Presidential Space Summit held at the NASA Kennedy Space Center on April 15, 2010. At the event, President Obama outlined his new strategy for human spaceflight, which includes the expanded support for commercial space transportation systems - the same systems that will also enable the nascent suborbital and eventually orbital science research community.


Bruce, who is pictured here with Norm Augustine, shared his impressions and photos from the event on his website spacedavis.com.

13 April 2010

A4H Veronica Zabala on The Space Show

A4H co-founder Veronica Ann Zabala-Aliberto was on The Space Show yesterday. During the third segment of the show, she and David Livingston talked about Astronauts4Hire. The callers asked some very good questions that have prompted us to start working on a FAQ page for our website. Stay tuned for that addition in the near future.

You can listen to the show in full below:

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12 April 2010

Press Release: Astronauts4Hire Launches


April 12, 2010

Astronauts4Hire Launches, Selects Initial Candidates for Commercial Scientist Astronauts

Astronauts4Hire, a new collaborative effort to support and develop a pool of qualified, commercial scientist astronauts announces today the launch of its website (www.astronauts4hire.org) and selection of 11 initial astronaut candidates. The candidates, selected from industry and academia, bring with them a wide variety of experience and expertise, representing a diverse set of disciplines. Pooling their collective resources and talents, and leveraging their common passion and commitment for space exploration, the candidates have created Astronauts4Hire to support the emerging suborbital research industry. On a day that marks the anniversaries of the first human to orbit the Earth and the maiden flight of the Space Shuttle, this announcement marks a push towards a new era of more accessible commercial space research and exploration.

Astronauts4Hire is soliciting sponsors and donors to enable the candidates to undergo spaceflight training and obtain other pertinent experience that will increase their competitiveness as astronauts-for-hire by those private firms conducting scientific research on suborbital platforms. The initial target is to obtain $40,000 USD, which will be used to allow the initial astronaut candidates to take part in the three-day Suborbital Scientist Training Program at the NASTAR Center in Pennsylvania. The course includes medical screening, classroom preparation, centrifuge and hypobaric chamber training.

Additional astronaut candidates and training course targets will be identified as the effort moves forward. Astronauts4Hire intends to become the one-stop shop for those seeking qualified, experienced professionals to conduct microgravity and other research on suborbital, and later orbital platforms. The website will eventually evolve to allow anyone who has the dream of becoming a commercial astronaut to create an online profile listing their experience and training, allowing them to see how they rank against other prospective astronauts. The site will become an interactive tool, providing a forum for discussion and collaboration.

The initial Astronauts4Hire are:

For more information about Astronauts4Hire, its initial astronaut candidates, and sponsorship opportunities, please visit: www.astronauts4hire.org

11 April 2010

A4H Launch!

The Astronauts4Hire website is now live. Please stay tuned for exciting updates as we progress towards becoming some of the first scientist-astronauts ready to fly as commercial payload specialists on suborbital flights. Learn more about our plans on the About A4H page. If you like what you see, consider donating to become a sponsor!

Bigelow Aerospace has already become the first company to advertise for private astronauts, and Blue Origin has already announced the first scientific payloads for its suborbital vehicle. By the time the new breed of private space vehicles are ready, we plan to be qualified to handle jobs like these.

We'll leave you with a recent NPR story that mentions the rising demand for "Astronauts for Hire" like us. To learn more, listen to yesterday's extended Space Show interview with Dr. Alan Stern:

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