NASTAR Center Completes Fifth Suborbital Scientist Training
SOUTHAMPTON, Pa., July 21, 2011 — The NASTAR® Center, the premier commercial aerospace training and research center in the world, completed another Suborbital Scientist Training Course for private astronauts that will conduct commercial space research missions on suborbital spaceflights. The fifth Suborbital Scientist class (SS Class #5) included 10 individuals, eight of which were Astronauts4Hire members interested in taking commercial payloads into space as a service for researchers. All participants successfully completed the training program.
“Centrifuge and high altitude training are core training elements that NASTAR provided to our members,” remarked Astronauts4Hire Chief Operating Officer Dr. Jason Reimuller. “The very realistic mission simulation in NASTAR’s centrifuge taught us how to physiologically adapt to rapidly changing G-forces, enabling us to anticipate these stresses in flight, adapt to them, and stay focused on our research tasks.” Flight Member Alli Taylor added, “Training at the NASTAR Center gave me confidence in what to expect and how to perform on suborbital flights.”
The three-day NASTAR Suborbital Scientist course is designed to prepare individuals with the knowledge and skills to safely cope with the rigors of suborbital spaceflight. The highlight of the first day was a session in the NASTAR high-altitude chamber that simulated an ascent to 25,000 feet and allowed the trainees to experience the effects of oxygen-deprivation, or hypoxia, firsthand.
On the second day, G-tolerance flights in the NASTAR Phoenix STS-400 centrifuge subjected the trainees to maximum sustained loads of 3.5 times Earth’s gravity oriented up-and-down (eyeballs-down) and 6 times Earth’s gravity oriented front-to-back (eyeballs-in). These flights trained the Astronauts4Hire members to recognize and mitigate the symptoms of gravity-induced loss of consciousness (G-LOC).
The course culminated on the third day with centrifuge runs simulating the complete suborbital flight profile of the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo vehicle. The participants also completed a distraction and time management exercise to introduce the need for teamwork, planning, and practice. This maximizes the chances mission success in the short and potentially stressful time available on suborbital flights.
Going forward, Astronauts4Hire and NASTAR will work together to refine and further develop curricula to prepare future scientist crews. “The Astronauts4Hire are a committed and focused group of individuals,” says Brienna Henwood, Director of Space Training and Research Programs at the NASTAR Center. “They understood the curriculum, completed Altitude Physiology, and executed proper techniques during all spaceflight launch and reentry phases of training. NASTAR Center is proud to add the eight Astonauts4Hire members to our growing list of prepared commercial spaceflight trainees.”
Astronauts for Hire, Inc. (A4H) is a non-profit corporation whose objectives are to provide opportunities for students and professionals to develop and refine the skills necessary to become commercial astronauts and to assist these qualified candidates with networking opportunities in the space research community. A4H’s commercial astronaut candidates are accomplished scientists and engineers who can support a wide variety of payloads. They are available today for contract and consulting work with researchers to design and conduct experiments on microgravity, suborbital, and orbital missions. For more information, please visit www.Astronauts4Hire.org or contact Public Relations Officer Ben Corbin at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (850) 685-2218.
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