FAQ

  1. You're a non-profit group but have "for Hire" in your name. Why?
  2. Why are you asking for others to help pay for your astronaut training?
  3. How can I become a Sponsor of A4H? What are the donation requirements? What will I get in return for donating to A4H?
  4. Why would a payload's Principal Investigator (PI) want an Astronaut4Hire to fly his/her experiment?
  5. How did A4H get started?
  6. You have "astronauts" in your name, but you haven't flown in space yet. What's the deal?
  7. What are the long term plans for A4H?
  8. How do you select new recruits?
  9. How will you handle the competing demands of expanding A4H membership with limited funds available for training?
  10. I want to be an A4H too! How can I sign up?
  11. What medical requirements are there to join A4H?
  12. I am not a US citizen and/or don't live in the US. Can I still be an A4H?
  13. How do you plan to inspire students to pursue careers in space?
  14. Can an A4H Astronaut come to my hometown to give a talk?
  15. I am interested in contacting a specific A4H, how do I do that?
  16. How do I hire an A4H?
  17. What are some programs related to A4H?

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  1. You're a non-profit group but have "for Hire" in your name. Why?

    A4H strives to be similar to a professional organization. We will collect donations, hold events, and perform other activities to generate a critical mass of funding that will enable us to manage the organization and help support the development of a new commercial astronaut workforce. Eventually, we expect our website to become a clearinghouse for any prospective "astronaut for hire" to register, create a profile, become a member, and enjoy the professional development benefits and other opportunities the organization can offer.


  2. Why are you asking for others to help pay for your astronaut training?

    We're asking people to contribute to a pool of money with which A4H can provide sponsorships for selected applicants to take part in spaceflight skills training. By leveraging the enthusiasm and resources available in the wider community, we hope to spur the development of an astronaut workforce to support commercial spaceflight. As the number of and demand for private spaceflights increases, the cost to access space will drop. This will democratize access to space, bringing it within reach of more people than ever before. Furthermore, sponsors who support the A4H cause will gain brand exposure in this emerging market.


  3. How can I become a Sponsor of A4H? What are the donation requirements? What will I get in return for donating to A4H?

    We have developed a tiered sponsorship system which provides increasing benefits for larger donated amounts. Please see our Sponsorship Page for additional details. Sponsors at different levels will enjoy a variety of benefits including access to our newsletter, discounted A4H merchandise, logos on our website, patches on our flightsuits, mentions in press releases and more. Sponsor benefits will expand more as A4H develops. Please contact us regarding sponsorship opportunities.


  4. Why would a payload's Principal Investigator (PI) want an Astronaut4Hire to fly his/her experiment?

    There are several reasons: (1) The PI may have a pre-existing health condition or is otherwise unfit to pass the required Class III Medical Exam and/or astronaut training; this could put themselves and their payloads at risk. (2) The PI must stay on the ground to perform ground-based observations/measurements in tandem with the suborbital payload flight. (3) The PI may simply be unavailable or otherwise not interested in personally undertaking a spaceflight. (4) The company or institution supporting the payload may prefer to contract out to highly trained specialists rather than trusting less trained PIs.


  5. How did A4H get started?

    Veronica Ann Zabala-Aliberto, Amnon Govrin, Ryan Kobrick, and Brian Shiro were inspired by the Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference held in Boulder, CO in February 2010. They discussed the initial A4H concept and brought in Joseph Palaia to help further define the possibilities for the organization. This core group of five co-founders then made their intentions known to NASTAR, who fully supported the idea. NASTAR indicated that if A4H could get at least 10 people interested, they would have full scheduling flexibility for the training. Next, the A4H co-founders asked close colleagues with proven professional and scientific abilities relevant to the industry to join the team. Once the group had passed the 10-person mark, we set a date of April 12 as the official launch date for the organization.


  6. You have "astronauts" in your name, but you haven't flown in space yet. What's the deal?

    A4H is a forward-looking organization, so the day will come when we will have astronauts who have flown in space among our ranks. In NASA, astronaut candidates (ASCANs) become known as "astronauts" after approximately two years of intense training. We are following their lead and using the term "astronaut" to mean anyone trained to be an astronaut rather than anyone who has flown to 100 km altitude.


  7. What are the long term plans for A4H?

    A4H plans to become a leader in developing a commercial astronaut workforce. We are starting by training suborbital payload specialist scientists but envision a future in which the A4H commercial astronaut pool is available for work on orbital missions too. After establishing themselves in the LEO environment, some members of the A4H team may be well-positioned for hire by NASA or private enterprise on deep space missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.


  8. How do you select new recruits?

    The minimum requirements to become an A4H Flight Member include being at least 18 years old, able to obtain a FAA Class III Medical Certificate, speak English fluently, have no past convictions, be able to pass a Background Check, and hold at least a Master's degree or equivalent in a field relevant to suborbital science or spaceflight. In some cases, current students with demonstrated experience relevant to A4H who have not yet completed a postgraduate degree will be considered. While A4H does not require its members to have U.S. citizenship, some activities may require it.

    Beyond the minimum requirements, other aspects considered include graduate degrees, work experience, microgravity experience, laboratory experience, field experience, operational experience (military, pilot, diving, etc.), mission experience (NASA, commercial, analog, etc.), scientific publications, past success applying to astronaut programs, ties to space industry groups, fund-raising/grant-writing ability, and volunteer/leadership experience.

    While A4H is still in its embryonic stage, a further important criterion for selection is that all Flight Members be able to devote sufficient time to building the organization. So far, the time demand is a minimum of 3 hours per week, and sometimes it can be substantially more. Later, when the organization is more mature, this aspect will not be as important for selection.

    The A4H Selection Committee will convene approximately once per year to review Flight Member applications. Selections will be based on consensus of committee members. The Selection Committee will refer the recommended candidates in batches to the Board of Directors for final approval.


  9. How will you handle the competing demands of expanding A4H membership with limited funds available for training?

    We are working out an innovative A4H membership level designation that will give A4H members opportunities to earn chances for selection to training opportunities. The criteria to advance to higher levels will include a combination of education, professional and/or personal experience (in both space and non-space related fields), and time devoted to the A4H organization.


  10. I want to be an A4H too! How can I sign up?

    Please see our Join A4H Page for information on the ways you can get involved.


  11. What medical requirements are there to join A4H?

    Flight Member applicants should be at least 18 years old and able to pass the FAA Class III Medical exam. A4H does not pay for the cost of flight physicals (generally $80-$100). Associate Members have no medical requirements.


  12. I am not a US citizen and/or don't live in the US. Can I still be an A4H?

    Sure! Three of our current Flight Members, Luís Saraiva, Amnon Govrin, and Erik Seedhouse are not US citizens. They hail from Portugal, Israel, and Norway/Canada, respectively. We cannot speak for potential microgravity, suborbital, or orbital employers who may have other restrictions on whom they will hire.


  13. How do you plan to inspire students to pursue careers in space?

    A4H is committed to providing opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to join the organization and be eligible for training program scholarships and related opportunities. Astronauts4Hire will bring space access to more people than ever before, inspiring students at all levels to aspire for careers in space. A4H members are happy to speak to student groups at any level on topics related to space, with the intention of instilling hope in the next generation that space is within reach.


  14. Can an A4H Astronaut come to my hometown to give a talk?

    Absolutely! We are happy to speak to school, community, and corporate groups. Contact us with inquiries.


  15. I am interested in contacting a specific A4H, how do I do that?

    On the Meet the A4H page you can find email addresses for each of our A4Hs. Do not be shy to shoot them emails.


  16. How do I hire an A4H?

    Please contact us. A4H is committed to working closely with potential employers to meet their particular needs. In most cases, A4H will enter into contracts with the employer to provide individuals for commercial astronaut services.


  17. What are some programs related to A4H?