25 December 2016

Hello everyone,

First off, I want to say thank-you.  A4H is going through many changes.  With the challenges commercial flight providers have faced in recent years, we are rethinking how to contribute to the space sector and present ourselves to the community.  Switching from seeking jobs as payload specialist astronauts to creating our own opportunities to fly in space is necessary but tremendously challenging.  We have many questions.  How can we design experiments and develop technologies that allow us to fly into space eventually?  Who can help us?  Should we build our own technologies or test those built by others?  How can we do so ethically and responsibly?

We are so grateful for the patience and support of our members.  Many of you are students.  With the cost of education and the job market as it is, especially in the aerospace sector, we recognize how hard it can be for you put money towards causes you care about.  Thank you for making us your priority.

We also want to thank our partners and sponsors.  One that deserves special mention is Fuze.  They have generously provided an online platform to help us hear one another’s voices and see each other’s faces over vast distances.  I do not know how we would do what we do without them.  Thank–you to the Fuze team for believing in us.

There are many who have devoted so much to A4H in the past and present.  Some founded the organization and have stayed with us to this day.  Others joined us more recently.  All have been generous by taking on A4H projects, connecting us with key organizations, volunteering their unique skillset, and offering insight during meetings.  We recognized a few of them could during our awards ceremony last weekend.  Here are the names of these outstanding contributors to A4H:

Dr. Brian Shiro
Mr. Amnon Govrin
Mr. Troy Cole
Dr. David Wassell
Mr. Brien Posey
Ms. Victoria Varone
Dr. Aaron Persad

Again, we cannot thank-you enough for your support over these years.  Happy Holidays to all!  Our best wishes go out to you and your families for a hopeful and prosperous 2017.

Peace on Earth,

Michael Gallagher M.D. C.C.F.P.
President and CEO

04 November 2016

A4H Member to Participate in Poland Mars Analogue Simulation 2017

One of our own A4H members, Iñigo Muñoz Elorza, will be participating in the upcoming Poland Mars Analog Simulation 2017, organized by the Space Generation Advisory Council's (SGAC) Space Exploration Project Group (SEPG), who is currently raising funds for the mission on Indiegogo.

It will be a two-week mission where a crew of six analogue astronauts will conduct and record their experiences and scientific research in the newly built the M.A.R.S. Laboratory habitat near Rzepiennik Biskupi, Poland. The mission will be complete with a time-delayed link with the offices of ABM Space in Torun, Poland, where 30 international students and young professionals will act as the Flight Support Team (FST) in the PMAS 2017 Mission Support Centre (MSC).

The mission will also include a 3-day lunar simulation in partnership with ESA to mimic the potential future plans of not only returning to the Moon alone, but using a Moon base as testbed for future Mars exploration.

Sebastian Hettrich, PMAS 2017 Mission Director, noted "The advantage of the Moon is that it a) is close enough to Earth to enable a quick return of the astronauts within only a few days at any time of the year and b) there is almost no delay in the communications. These two factors are what makes a Mars mission more difficult and risky, and we first need to learn again how to walk before we can start to run and jump."

PMAS 2017 aims not only to address the "big questions" but also to achieve some more immediate scientific goals like conducting research on topics including human-robotic interaction, field work operations, the psychological effects of isolation, plant growth on simulated Martian soil, and telescope-based astronomy.

Mina Talka, the Media and Outreach Coordinator for the mission, says "PMAS 2017 represents planet Earth, it represents humanity. Our team members come from every habitable continent and from over 30 countries around the globe. There are no boundaries in space! PMAS will certainly help us understand and tackle issues arising from deep-space exploration, but most importantly, it will help us change how we think about humanity and about human space exploration."

Contribute to the campaign on Indiegogo and follow the project on social media: FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

05 May 2016

The First National Astronaut Day

Today, May 5, 2016, marks the first celebration of the NEW National Astronaut Day, created by marketing and management firm Uniphi Space Agency, who represents and arranges travel for astronauts to special events like keynote presentations, book signings, corporate and private events, conferences, and more.

Uniphi celebrated with an online proclamation of National Astronaut Day and an global social media celebration where astronauts, other space industry professionals, and space enthusiasts all came together to discuss their love for space, using the hashtags #NationalAstronautDay and #WeBelieveInAstronauts.

So, what is an astronaut?

According to Google, an astronaut is "a person who is trained to travel in a spacecraft."

Dictionary.com says "a person engaged in or trained for spaceflight," and Merriam-Webster defines it in full as "a person who travels beyond the earth's atmosphere; also: a trainee for spaceflight."

Astronauts have long been - and continue to be - heroes for children and adults alike. Space is truly the final frontier and many dream of exploring it, whether it's a trip back to the Moon, forming the first human colony on Mars, or further out to the edge of the solar system, the Oort cloud, interstellar space, and beyond.

In today's Digital Age, people have more access to astronauts then ever before. Many, if not most, astronauts are very active on social media, especially twitter and instagram. In fact, now-retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly became one of those most popular people on instagram during his #YearInSpace, where he tweeted stunning pictures of the Earth the International Space Station as well as photos of himself and the ISS crew performing scientific experiments, collecting data, and having fun.

He popularized the hashtag #EarthArt which he used on carefully timed pictures of some of the Earth's most stunning structures and wonders, like this one of Africa:

Here at Astronauts4Hire, we are proud to have have helped many of our members find opportunities in the space industry and in STEM fields that are helping prepare them to take on the commercial space industry with new technology, scientific payloads, and spaceflight training.

We do this by connecting them with online resources, training facilities like The NASTAR Center, and most importantly, each other. There are no better examples of our members' successes than the multiple experiments, projects, and organizations that have flourished from their creativity, collaboration, and ambition.

Astronauts4Hire is currently undergoing a bit of a redesign. We're trying to find even more ways to connect our members with each other and with opportunities that support their goals of working in the commercial space industry.

In the meantime, follow us on facebook and twitter for the latest news from our members and from the space industry.

07 January 2016

Secret Space Escapes: Robert Curbeam interview

Space is a dangerous place. Astronauts are trained to respond to and overcome challenges that they encounter on their missions. Some of these near disasters are featured in the TV series Secret Space Escapes, which continues in re-runs on the Science Channel. Set your DVRs to record tomorrow's episode featuring Robert Curbeam's own space escape!

A4H's Victoria Varone sat down with astronauts Linger, Yi, and Curbeam during their recent appearance at New York Comic Con. Here, we've posted her interview with astronaut Robert Curbeam. They discussed his experiences with "mishaps" in space, what he thinks of commercial space, and his favorite NASA experience.