28 February 2011

Press Release: Astronauts4Hire Announces Selection of New Flight Members


February 28, 2011

Astronauts4Hire Announces Selection of New Flight Members

Orlando, Florida – Astronauts4Hire is pleased to announce the selection of its third class of commercial scientist-astronaut candidates. The nine new recruits were selected through a rigorous process that included consultation with former NASA astronauts.

"The selection process was painstaking," said Astronauts4hire Vice President and Membership Chair Jason Reimuller. "We received numerous applications and over the course of a month had to chose only a handful of applicants who showed just the right balance of professional establishment, broad technical and operational experience, and a background that indicates adaptability to the spaceflight environment."

The new Astronauts4Hire Flight Members are accomplished research professionals spanning diverse fields of science, engineering, and medicine:

"With the addition of these new members to the organization, Astronautst4Hire has solidified its standing as the premier provider of scientist-astronaut candidates," said Astronauts4Hire President Brian Shiro. "Our diverse pool of astronauts-in-training represent more than two dozen disciplines of science and technology, speak 16 languages, and hail from 11 countries. We can now handle a much greater range of missions in different geographic regions."

27 February 2011

Press Release: The Beer has Landed: Astronauts4Hire Completes Space Beer Microgravity Test


February 27, 2011

The Beer has Landed: Astronauts4Hire Completes Space Beer Microgravity Test

Orlando, Florida – Astronauts4Hire has completed its inaugural paid contract to test the world’s first beer designed for consumption in space. The experiment, which marks humanity’s first formal study on alcohol absorption in microgravity, took place aboard a parabolic trajectory microgravity flight out of Cape Canaveral, Florida operated by Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G). Yesterday’s flight was the first in a series of microgravity flights qualifying the beer recipe for consumption in space, funded in part by sales of the beverage on Earth.

The Vostok Space Beer, produced as a joint venture between Saber Astronautics Australia and the 4-Pines Brewing Company to serve the emerging space tourism market, is a high-flavor, low-carbonation stout designed for easy drinking both in microgravity and on Earth. Astronauts4Hire was contracted by the Vostok partners to provide the flight testing service.

Astronauts4Hire Flight Member Todd Romberger was selected to perform the flight research. Todd sampled the beer during 12 microgravity parabolas, each reproducing the weightless conditions of space for 30 seconds at a time, and recorded qualitative data on beverage taste and drinkability as well as biometric data to gain a first look at alcohol effects the body.

"It was exciting to participate in this ground breaking research," said Todd. "I'm happy to say the flight was a success. We provided the customer with the data they needed, and made a little history along the way. Not to mention, the beer was delicious!"

Saber Astronautics Australia Director Dr. Jason Held praised Astronauts4Hire (A4H), saying "this was a challenging experiment which physically stressed the body to test effects specific to drinking beer in microgravity. It also had many small and repetitive tasks required to get the biometric data, requiring a high degree of hand-eye coordination and concentration to meet strict reporting requirements. A4H and Todd in particular performed superbly."

Astronauts4Hire is honored to take a prime role in this research, helping to forge the path towards a robust commercial spaceflight industry.

26 February 2011

Press Release: Astronauts4Hire Announces Creation of Advisory Board Comprised of Astronauts and Astronaut Instructors


February 26, 2011

Astronauts4Hire Announces Creation of Advisory Board Comprised of Astronauts and Astronaut Instructors

Orlando, Florida – Astronauts4Hire proudly announces the creation of its Senior Technical Advisory Council (STAC). This group consists of well-established human spaceflight experts who will provide technical and strategic guidance to Astronauts4Hire as it trains a new breed of professional commercial astronauts who can be hired to conduct space missions.

"With such well-respected professionals advising us, Astronauts4Hire gains tremendous credibility as an organization that can effectively train its astronauts to meet and exceed customer expectations," says Astronauts4Hire President Brian Shiro.

The initial STAC members include a former NASA astronaut, a former corporate astronaut, and two former astronaut instructors:

  • Dr. Scott Parazynski – Physician and former astronaut who has flown 5 Space Shuttle missions and conducted 7 spacewalks, Dr. Parazynski is an expert on human adaptation to stressful environments; he has climbed the world’s highest mountain and dived in its highest lake. He currently serves as Chief Medical Officer and Chief Technology Officer at The Methodist Hospital Research Institute in Houston.

  • Ken Trujillo – Senior System Engineer for Lockheed Martin and former NASA astronaut instructor, Mr. Trujillo’s experience spans hardware development, flight planning, test operations, and training astronauts on Crew Systems and EVA operations.

  • Dr. Leslie Wickman – Former Lockheed Martin Corporate Astronaut who worked on the Hubble Space Telescope and International Space Station programs, Dr. Wickman currently serves as Director of the Center for Research in Science at Azusa Pacific University and is a consultant on astronaut training and operations, spacesuit design, crew systems, spaceflight physiology, and more.

  • Lee Wooldridge – Independent human performance and training analysis consultant who led the team reviewing the Space Shuttle astronaut training system for Rockwell Space Operations Company after the Challenger accident and developed the International Space Station astronaut and controller training analysis for Barrios Technology.

The STAC will expand to include more experts as Astronauts4Hire continues to grow.

23 February 2011

Seedhouse Completes G-Tolerance Training

Less than a week after completing his High Altitude Indoctrination training, Astronauts4Hire member Dr. Erik Seedhouse underwent Gravity-Tolerance training at the Defence Research and Development Canada, Toronto (DRDC) centrifuge facility. The $25 million DRDC centrifuge has a 20-foot swing arm and is capable of safely spinning humans up to 9G (9 times normal gravity).

Erik performed 3 runs in the centrifuge that included gradual onset to 4G, gradual onset to 5G, and rapid onset to 5G.  He practiced the Anti-G Straining Maneuver (AGSM) for 10 seconds while at the maximum acceleration on each of the three runs.  This nearly completes Dr. Seedhouse's qualification as a Research Specialist Astronaut according to the A4H training standards, which Erik will present next week at the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference in Orlando, Florida. A video of Erik's centrifuge training is available here:

21 February 2011

Press Release: Astronauts4Hire Schedule of Events During the 2011 Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference


February 21, 2011

Schedule of Events During the 2011 Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference

Tampa, Florida – Astronauts4Hire will conduct a number of activities during next week’s Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC), providing important opportunities for the organization to connect with the suborbital research community. Unless otherwise noted, the events listed below will be held in the Student Union building on the University of Central Florida campus at 4000 Central Florida Blvd in Orlando.

  • Saturday, February 26 (Cape Canaveral)
    Vostok Space Beer microgravity test flight. See also: http://www.astronauts4hire.org/2010/10/a4h-in-spotlight.html
  • Monday, February 28 (12:30 - 1:45 pm, Garden Key Room)
    Press Conference: announcement of new Astronauts4Hire flight members, advisors, and more.
  • Monday, February 28 - Wednesday, March 2 (Pegasus Ballroom A/D, Booth 107)
    Astronauts4Hire exhibit space open for visitors throughout the duration of the conference.
  • Tuesday, March 1 (4:00 - 4:15 pm, Pegasus Ballroom B)
    Presentation: "Qualification Standards for Suborbital Scientist Astronauts" by Erik Seedhouse, Brian Shiro, and Jason Reimuller. Abstract available at: http://www.swri.org/9what/events/confer/nsrc/2011/abstracts/crew/28855081-2214460.pdf
  • Wednesday, March 2 (11:03 - 11:15 am, Pegasus Ballroom A)
    Presentation: "Vostok Space Beer: The First Beer Recipe Designed for Drinking in Microgravity" by Jason Held et al. Abstract available at: http://www.swri.org/9what/events/confer/nsrc/2011/abstracts/suborbital-mkts/28840941-2214460.pdf
  • Wednesday, March 2 (1:15 - 2:45 pm, Pegasus Ballrooms A-B-C)
    Panel Discussion: "REM Payload Specialists - Flight Training, Roles, & Responsibilities" with Dr. Erik Seedhouse representing Astronauts4Hire. More information at: http://www.swri.org/9what/events/confer/nsrc/2011/sessions/panel-rem-payload-spec.htm

18 February 2011

Seedhouse Completes High Altitude Indoctrination Training

A4H Flight Member Dr. Erik Seedhouse recently completed High Altitude Indoctrination (HAI) training at Defence Research and Development Canada, Toronto, which has a hypobaric chamber capable of simulating conditions up to 100,000 feet altitude.

The HAI Erik completed included a rapid decompression to 10,000 feet while he was breathing a Combined Altitude Depleted Oxygen (CADO) mix of 10%, which allowed him to reach an equivalent altitude pressure of 25,000 feet. While at 25,000 feet Erik completed various mathematical tests to experience the effects of hypoxia. Then he connected his air mask back to the regular air supply and descended.

07 February 2011

Press Release: Astronauts4Hire Joins the Commercial Spaceflight Federation as Research & Education Affiliate


February 7, 2011

Astronauts4Hire Joins the Commercial Spaceflight Federation as Research & Education Affiliate

Tampa, Florida – Astronauts4Hire is pleased to announce that it has officially become a Research and Education Affiliate of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. Astronauts4Hire joins research and education affiliates such as Purdue University, Johns Hopkins University, Princeton University, George Mason University, and the University of Central Florida that are interested in flying scientists and payload specialists onboard the new generation of commercial suborbital spacecraft.

"We are pleased to welcome the Astronauts4Hire nonprofit as an affiliate of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation," stated John Gedmark, executive director of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. "The Astronauts4Hire organization is a diverse group of enthusiastic future scientist-astronauts, and its members have backgrounds ranging from engineering and aviation to astronomy and physiology. They are training for prospective future spaceflights and have volunteered to raise public awareness of the exciting potential of commercial spaceflight. Hopefully, members of the Astronauts4Hire group will be among the thousands of people who will fly to space in the coming years onboard commercial suborbital spacecraft."

Brian Shiro, a geophysicist and president of Astronauts4Hire, stated, "Astronauts4Hire is very excited to be joining the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and looks forward to productive mutual collaboration through projects like the Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s Suborbital Applications Researchers Group (SARG) that raise awareness of the potential of commercial human spaceflight and enable the new industry to flourish."

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation and Astronauts4Hire are both proud co-sponsors of the upcoming Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference, which will be held at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida from February 28 to March 2, 2011.