12 June 2013

NSRC 2013

The electrifying atmosphere of the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) filled us with great expectations for the coming year.  This year's suborbital science meeting had some big shoes to fill after featuring a keynote by Neil Armstrong last year, but it did not disappoint.  NASA deputy administrator Lori Garver surprised everyone by revealing that the Flight Opportunities Program is not excluding the possibility of funding human researchers on suborbital flights!  Virgin Galactic announced selling more tickets for flights on their suborbital vehicle than people who have gone to space.  XCOR Aerospace continued its strong support research and education missions, offering a 2-for-1 payload deal for NSRC participants. These were just a few of the exciting developments that emerged at the 2013 NSRC.

Astronauts for Hire (A4H) members presented on many subjects, ranging from how A4H empowers suborbital research to how to hire A4H members for suborbital science missions. A4H partners from SIRIUS Astronaut Training, The NASTAR Center, and Vital Space also presented at the conference on abstracts co-authored with A4H members. In total, A4H members and partners presented on over a dozen topics, which are listed in our May 28 press release. Flight Members Erik Seedhouse and Luis Zea are shown below presenting on behalf of A4H at the meeting:


Our poster illustrating the three main pathways through which A4H enables suborbital research was a big hit.  Supplemented by the A4H Video, the poster conveyed how A4H helps its members, partners, and clients realize their respective spaceflight research goals, ultimately pushing the whole commercial suborbital industry forward.

As a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the growth of the commercial spaceflight industry by developing commercial astronauts, A4H is deeply committed to outreach in all of its forms in order to generate greater interest in space research and development, as well as to inspire more students to pursue careers in space-related fields. That is why A4H sponsors the NSRC, collaborates closely with the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, promotes the NASA Flight Opportunities Program, and encourages its members to reach out to their communities through the SARG Ambassadors Program. We are extremely proud that three of the seven 2013 SARG Ambassador awards went to A4H members:
  • Brian Shiro, for Exemplary Service
  • Michael Parkhill, for Exemplary Service
  • Casey Stedman, for Dedicated Service

As the premier annual gathering of suborbital researchers, educators, and spaceflight operators, NSRC is the place to connect with media about anything suborbital. Therefore, we could think of no better venue to announce our newest Flight Member selections than at NSRC. We congratulate all six of them on their selection and hope to see them at next year's NSRC! During NSRC, A4H CEO Brian Shiro joined Dr. David Livingston on the June 3 episode of The Space Show, where they discussed A4H. If you missed catching the show live, you can listen to it below:

The NSRC gathering once again proved to be a valuable team-building opportunity for A4H members to meet face-to-face and strengthen the bonds that make the A4H community so effective. Prior to the NSRC meeting, Flight Members Luis Zea and Jason Reimuller, as well as Associate Member Bruce Davis participated in the 4th Annual Emerging Space Industry Leaders Workshop (ESIL-04), supported by the FAA Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation. Later, at the NSRC meeting itself, they were joined by ten other A4H members and partners. One of the unique treats this NSRC had to offer was the full-scale XCOR Lynx Mark II mockup, which provided a tangible sensation that the suborbital revolution is about to take off. Here is a shot of some of the A4H members with the mockup. One day, the real Lynx may be taking some of them to space to carry out experiments and reach their dreams!

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