29 April 2011

A4H Member Supports Experiments on Final Shuttle Endeavour Flight

The Space Shuttle Endeavour will soon lift off into history as it begins the STS-134 mission, signifying the penultimate orbital flight of the NASA Space Shuttle program. Flying aboard the vehicle will be student experiments bound for the International Space Station through the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP). The 16 experiments selected for flight include studies of cell biology, life cycles, seed germination, food preservation, and crystal growth.

During the 14-day mission, A4H co-founder Veronica Ann Zabala-Aliberto will monitor the experiments from the Kennedy Space Center, where she also helped prepare them for integration into the payload before the launch. After the mission she will retrieve samples from the experiments and return them to their respective Principal Investigators at schools across the country. Veronica Ann will help manage samples for use in ITA's Materials Dispersion Apparatus (MDA) and Liquid Mixing Apparatus (LMA) hardware. These will help investigate the effects of the absence of gravity on fluids. Both the MDA and LMA hardare are part of Commercial Reusable Experiments for Science and Technology (CREST-1) payload by American Aerospace Advisors, Inc.  You can watch the SSEP team hard at work on its live Ustream broadcast.

12 April 2011

Astronauts4Hire Completes First Orbit

Today is April 12, otherwise known as the Cosmonautics Day, Yuri’s Night, and the International Day of Human Space Flight. 50 years ago on this date, man first ventured into space and ushered in the era of human spaceflight. It was only fitting that the maiden flight of the Space Shuttle occurred on this date 30 years ago. Astronauts4Hire (A4H) shares its anniversary with these important milestones of space history. One year ago today we formed A4H, signifying a new chapter in the unfolding story of human spaceflight.

Inspired by the 2010 Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference, we started A4H to fill a need for highly qualified scientists to carry out research experiments on commercial spacecraft. After incorporating A4H as a Florida non-profit corporation, we proceeded to lay the groundwork for the organization. Over the months that followed, we expanded our team of astronaut candidates twice and now have 23 Flight Members plus 27 Associate Members in our ranks. Through the volunteer-based efforts of A4H members, we have created the world’s only commercial astronaut training cooperative and flight crew service.

A4H members at the 2011 Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference