03 April 2012

Press Release: "Astronauts for Hire" Book Available Now


April 3, 2012

"Astronauts for Hire" Book Available Now

Tampa, Florida – Human spaceflight is no longer the sole preserve of professional astronauts working on government-funded space programs. As private companies build and operate launch new vehicles, a new breed of astronaut is coming into being – the commercial astronaut. Astronauts4Hire (A4H) Training Officer Dr. Erik Seedhouse’s ninth book titled Astronauts for Hire: The Emergence of the Commercial Astronaut Corps (ISBN 978-1-4614-0519-1) explores how this new breed of astronaut will be selected and trained, providing a unique insight into the kinds of missions and tasks that commercial astronauts will perform.

"Astronauts for Hire will serve as a handbook and reference guide for the nascent commercial spaceflight industry and as a guidebook for research institutions and academia seeking to employ commercial astronauts," said author Erik Seedhouse. "It will provide spaceflight enthusiasts with a unique insight into and understanding of how the spaceflight industry will be revolutionized by the emergence of a commercial astronaut corps."

The 243-page book Astronauts for Hire: The Emergence of the Commercial Astronaut Corps is published by Springer Praxis Books in its series on Space Exploration. It is available in both softcover and eBook formats wherever Springer Praxis books are sold. The table of contents and samples of the book are available on the SpringerLink website at: http://www.springerlink.com/content/978-1-4614-0519-1

The book is divided into three sections. The first part describes how the A4H organization came into being and its vision for opening the space frontier to commercial astronauts. It highlights the tantalizing science opportunities routine suborbital and orbital flights will provide and goes on to describe the training and qualification necessary for budding professional commercial astronauts. The section concludes by introducing the reader to the A4H qualification process and training programs.

The second section describes the new fleet of reusable commercial spaceships being developed that will offer quick, routine, and affordable access to the edge of space. These vehicles have the capability to carry research and education crewmembers, including “astronauts for hire.” Examining some of these specific vehicles, the book describes the hurdles the space industry must overcome before the hiring of commercial astronauts can develop into a profitable economic entity. It also provides positive suggestions on how the commercial spaceflight industry can plan and prepare for the challenges of marketing and financing the hiring of astronauts.

Looking to the future, the book’s third and final section describes the types of missions the new corps of astronauts will fly and the customers who will employ them. It begins with an assessment of suborbital flights to carry out a variety of high-altitude science studies and moves on to examine orbital science missions on commercial trips to low Earth orbit. It concludes with speculation on ways future commercial astronauts could support private enterprises at interplanetary spaceports, lunar bases, and outposts on the surface of Mars.

About Astronauts4Hire:
Astronauts for Hire, Inc. (A4H) is a 501(c)(3) 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 media[at]astronauts4hire.org or at (850) 685-2218.

About Springer Praxis Books:
The Springer Praxis series on Space Exploration covers all aspects of human and robotic exploration, in Earth orbit and on the Moon and planets. These books tell “behind the scenes” stories of early missions, both manned and unmanned, covering the human and engineering aspects of the space programs of all the leading spacefaring nations. Accounts of planetary exploration encompass the very early missions through to the very latest results received from space probes to the planets and their moons. For more information, please visit www.springer.com or contact Megan Ernst at megan.ernst[at]springer.com or at (212) 460-1511.

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