Reflecting back upon 2012, I am impressed by the strides Astronauts4Hire has made to firmly establish itself as an important leader in the commercial spaceflight industry. Our primary mission is to build the next generation astronaut workforce by providing skills training, networking, and other professional development opportunities to aspiring commercial astronauts. As a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit, we rely upon the volunteer efforts of our members, generosity of our sponsors, and collaboration with our partners to meet our goals. With your help, we have achieved a lot in the past year, including:
- With partner Vital Space, we completed our second job as "astronauts for hire" testing the Sotera Wireless Visi Mobile biometric monitoring system on a NASA parabolic flight campaign. The project received a great deal of TV and radio media coverage as well.
- We announced our commercial astronaut training programs with qualifications for Research Specialist Astronaut and Operations Specialist Astronaut. The first qualified A4H astronauts will be announced by mid-2013.
- We published the first, second, and third issues of The A4H News, which is our quarterly newsletter. Features include interviews with industry leaders, updates on A4H activities, and summaries of commercial space developments. Look for Issue #4 at the end of January 2013.
- A4H was a sponsor of the 2012 Next-generation Suborbital Researchers Conference in Palo Alto, CA, where more than a dozen A4H members and partners presented on a range of topics. We were also an exhibitor at the NewSpace 2012 Conference in Santa Clara, CA.
- Erik Seedhouse's book Astronauts for Hire: The Emergence of the Commercial Astronaut Corps came out, highlighting the nascent commercial spaceflight industry and the rise of commercial astronauts. Listen to Erik talk about it on The Space Show.
- A4H became a member of the NASA Human Health and Performance Center (NHHPC), signed a memorandum of understanding agreement with The NASTAR Center, and renewed its other existing partnerships.
- In August 2012, A4H surpassed the 100-member mark and continues to grow at a healthy rate. A4H members hail from nearly 20 countries, and more than half have doctoral degrees in a wide range of science and engineering fields.
Looking ahead, we will continue to mature our training program, advance partnerships to facilitate space research, and provide inspiration to aspiring astronauts of all ages. If you believe in the exciting potential of A4H and want to support our innovative role in the commercial spaceflight industry, please consider making a tax-deductible year-end gift to help lay a strong foundation for A4H in 2013. Just click the "Donate" button on our website, or contact us.
On behalf of everyone at Astronauts4Hire, I wish you a happy holiday season and successful new year!
President & CEO, Astronauts4Hire