Astronauts for Hire is a 501(c)(3) non-profit formed in April 2010 to recruit and train qualified scientists and engineers for the rigors of spaceflight. Commonly referred to as “Astronauts4Hire” or just “A4H,” the organization conducts a range of activities related to commercial astronaut workforce development. A4H’s principal service is to train its members as professional astronaut candidates who can assist researchers, payload developers, and spaceflight providers with mission planning and operations support.
A4H members serve as payload specialists who can help design/integrate payloads, conduct experiments, monitor equipment, or be test subjects. A4H has partnered with a number of academic and industry groups. These partnerships expand the training, research, and operational capabilities of the organization. A4H has already secured two contracts to carry out research on parabolic microgravity flights. In February 2011, A4H completed its first contract testing the physiological effects of alcohol absorption in microgravity. A4H will complete its second microgravity research flight through the NASA Flight Opportunities Program in May 2012. A4H has other projects at various stages of development, and expects to support research projects onboard both suborbital and orbital missions in the future.