11 July 2011

Press Release: Astronauts4Hire Members Complete Emergency & Sea Survival Training


July 11, 2011

Astronauts4Hire Members Complete Emergency & Sea Survival Training

Groton, Connecticut – Astronauts4Hire members have successfully completed Dunker, Emergency Egress, and Sea Survival training at Survival Systems USA in Groton, Connecticut.  These courses have prepared them with the knowledge and skills to safely cope with physical and psychological stresses encountered during emergency situations at sea. Flight Members Christopher Altman, Jason Reimuller, and Brian Shiro, along with Associate Member Jules Shiohira Ung, comprised the first Astronauts4Hire class to undergo these training certifications.

"We have learned how to appropriately prepare for and respond to onboard emergencies that require forced water landing, inverted underwater escape, and sustained survival at sea," said Flight Member Christopher Altman. Astronauts4Hire President Brian Shiro added, "I was extremely impressed by the expert capabilities of Survival Systems USA and can think of no better way to initiate Astronauts4Hire’s team training program."

Survival training is important for astronauts in order to prepare for possible emergency landings.  As more than two thirds of the Earth is covered by water, astronauts should prepare for water landing and survival scenarios.  While the risk of this happening is small for infrequent space travelers, it becomes more probable for professional astronauts undertaking multiple spaceflight missions. "Most spaceports launch spacecraft over water, and since ascent aborts comprise the vast majority of contingency scenarios, we can expect these incidents will result in a water landing," remarked Astronauts4Hire Chief Operating Officer Dr. Jason Reimuller. "In addition, there are many post-landing scenarios that mandate an unassisted emergency egress.  This is why we require egress training for all of our qualified astronauts."

The Dunker Training program covered emergency incidents, how to prepare for them, and how to survive them after they have occurred.  It included comprehensive academic modules and case studies to provide the proper context for hazards associated with aircraft or spacecraft in over-water situations.  The preparation also included familiarization with the rescue equipment and devices.  Astronauts4Hire members practiced brace positioning, breath hold, emergency breathing device use, orientation, and egress in the Shallow Water Egress Trainer  (SWET) and Modular Egress Training Simulator (METS) under a variety of scenarios with varying aircraft roll and weather conditions.  The Sea Survival program dealt with personal and group rescue techniques utilizing personal flotation, life rafts, signaling devices, and search and rescue equipment in an open water environment at sea.

Going forward, Astronauts4Hire and Survival Systems USA will collaborate to customize the courses to provide more specific spaceflight context. Survival Systems USA President Maria Hanna commented, "I was impressed by the vision of Astronauts4Hire in our initial discussions. Now, following the completion of their training with us, I am excited about the possibilities for the future – the development of customized academic modules to address capsule specific configurations and equipment, and the potential for the manufacture of another new simulator – a capsule simulator. It is initiatives such as these that will define the safety of the personnel and ultimately, the success of the industry."

About Astronauts4Hire:
Astronauts for Hire, Inc. (A4H) is a non-profit corporation whose objectives are to provide opportunities for students and professionals to develop and refine the skills necessary to become commercial astronauts and to assist these qualified candidates with networking opportunities in the space research community. A4H's commercial astronaut candidates are accomplished scientists and engineers who can support a wide variety of payloads. They are available today for contract and consulting work with researchers to design and conduct experiments on microgravity, suborbital, and orbital missions. For more information, please visit www.Astronauts4Hire.org or contact Public Relations Officer Ben Corbin at ben.corbin[at]astronauts4hire.org or at (850) 685-2218.

About Survival Systems USA:
Survival Systems USA, Inc., an employee-owned company, specializes in providing military and civilian training in water survival, aircraft ditching emergency and escape procedures for both fixed and rotary wing craft, as well as rescue, land, and sea survival techniques.  For more information, please visit www.survivalsystemsinc.com or contact Survival Systems USA President Maria Hanna at mhanna[at]survivalsystemsinc.com or at (860) 405-0002, ext 15.

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