30 March 2012

A4H Newsletter Issue #2

We are proud to present Astronauts4Hire's second quarterly newsletter The A4H News. Highlights in this issue include interviews with A4H Training Officer Dr. Erik Seedhouse and former astronaut Col. Jim Voss, an announcement of the new book Astronauts for Hire, recaps of recent A4H activities, and the most important news in the commercial spaceflight industry.

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23 March 2012

Women in Aerospace

In celebration of Women's History Month, NASA conducted a one day conference titled "Women, Innovation and Aerospace" (WIA) at George Washington University on March 8th. A4H Associate Member Kavya Manyapu represented Boeing at the event, which highlighted women's contributions to innovation and progress in the aerospace community. The conference also focused on issues and challenges faced by women in the aerospace workforce, which is primarily dominated by men. The aim of the conference was to inspire and encourage young girls to enter science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professions. In the photo below, Kayva (right) and her colleague are pictured with NASA Administrator and former astronaut Charles Bolden.

According to a 2010 National Science Board study, women comprise less than 25% of the workforce in STEM fields. Women@NASA comprise one third of the space agency's employees, making NASA one of the largest employers of women aerospace professionals. However, only 53 of the 500 astronauts who have flown in space were women. Therefore, it is imperative that an effort be made to not only encourage young women into STEM fields but also to break down existing workforce barriers using innovative strategies to inspire, recruit, and retain women in STEM careers.

10 March 2012

NSRC 2012

The 2012 Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) was held in Palo Alto, California last week. Like its predecessors that gave rise to Astronauts4Hire (A4H), this year's NSRC provided a stimulating environment for approximately 450 attendees to discuss research and educational applications on suborbital vehicles. A record 34 organizations, including A4H, sponsored the meeting, which boasted a rare keynote address by Apollo Astronaut and X-15 Test Pilot Neil Armstrong, who is pictured with A4H Flight Members Seedhouse, Shiro, Altman, and Reimuller below. Armstrong's participation in the conference signified the growing relevance and importance of suborbital spaceflight.

More than a dozen A4H members and partners presented on a number of topics ranging from A4H's two years of remarkable growth to its commercial astronaut training programs. It seemed like hardly a session at the meeting passed without someone affiliated with A4H presenting. The photos below highlight talks given by Brian Shiro and Dr. Erik Seedhouse and posters presented by Dr. Mindy Howard and Brian Shiro with their co-authors. A full listing of A4H-related presentations given at NSRC is in our January 24 press release.