Association of Spaceflight Professionals
|Association of |
|Inaugural Class Flight Members Brian Shiro, Christopher Altman and Jason Reimuller undergo emergency egress spaceflight training|
|Previous name:||Astronauts for Hire|
|Services:||Commercial astronauts, scientific research, mission planning, payload development, parabolic, suborbital and orbital space missions|
|Founded:||April 12, 2010|
|Notable Members:||Soyeon Yi|
Director of the Board
Director of the Board
Chief Science Officer
Director of the Board
The Association of Spaceflight Professionals (ASP), initially incorporated as Astronauts for Hire, was established with the intention of training highly-qualified candidates as scientist-astronauts and making them available for hire as commercial crew. Research institutions, spaceflight companies and principal investigators are able to draw upon the cumulative experience and expertise of professional astronauts to carry out scientific experiments on suborbital and orbital space missions, rather than rely solely on their own personnel.
Since founding as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the state of Florida on April 12, 2010, the corps has partnered with leading government, corporate and academic providers to offer specialized astronaut training, from survival and egress to aerobatics and high-G centrifuge, to prepare its candidates for suborbital and orbital spaceflight missions.
As commercial astronauts, flight members are vetted through a highly-selective evaluation process modeled from the NASA Astronaut Corps, incorporating guidance and direction from a selection panel of veteran NASA astronauts, astronaut trainers, and experienced spaceflight professionals. Several members have interviewed as finalists in national astronaut candidate selection campaigns; one has completed an orbital mission conducting scientific experiments aboard the International Space Station. South Korean Astronaut Soyeon Yi, the first Korean to fly in space, is an active member of the corps and serves on its board of directors.
The corps numbers eighteen flight members, or commercial astronauts, with membership numbering more than 220 PhD-level scientists, researchers and engineers from nineteen countries around the world drawn from backgrounds in the military, defense, science, medicine, aerospace and engineering communities with an extensive track record of research and development, payload testing and integration, mission planning and operations support for the space industry, including several experiments currently flying on the International Space Station. Members contribute to spaceflight operations and scientific research at national space agencies, defense, research, science and technology organizations, and have given inspirational talks around the globe.
Flight members have lived, worked and trained together with NASA and international astronauts, as well as serving as astronaut instructors themselves—training both NASA astronauts and Astronaut Candidates in specialist areas such as Space Exploration Vehicles (SEV), Extravehicular Activity (EVA) and critical space mission operational tasks
In 2011, an inaugural class of four candidates: Altman, Reimuller, Seedhouse and Shiro completed suborbital research scientist training, underwater emergency egress and sea survival training, and spatial orientation-disorientation testing and acclimation, with performance standards designed in strict adherence to meet or exceed FAA Commercial Astronaut certification and licensing guidelines as defined by the Office of Commercial Space Transportation under 14 CFR 460, Human Spaceflight Requirements,14 CFR 460.5, Crew qualifications and training, and the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act, Public Law 108-492, 118, Stat. 3978.
Partnership with NASA Astronaut Corps
In December 2011, the organization partnered with the NASA Astronaut Corps and Duane Ross, Manager for NASA Astronaut Candidate Training and Astronaut Candidate Selection, for the astronaut selection and astronaut candidate training process.
Manned spaceflight missions
The NASA Commercial Crew program, with official industry partners Boeing and SpaceX, is ramping up to launch its first manned test flights in the second half of 2018. Once testing is complete, both NASA and commercial astronauts will use the spacecraft to access the International Space Station and commercial space stations currently under development from Axiom Space, Bigelow Aerospace and others.
The organization has been featured in Nature, Discover, Time Magazine, Popular Science, New Scientist, Aviation Week and Space Technology, Space.com,, Discovery News,, the Sydney Morning Herald, KurzweilAI, PCMag, Digital Trends, in books on next-generation technologies and the emerging spaceflight industry, in radio interviews on the future of spaceflight including The Space Show and NPR Morning Edition, and received extensive international press coverage following the announcement of its first funded flight contract. The corps publishes its own newsletter featuring in-depth interviews with NASA astronauts and prominent spaceflight industry insiders.
- Association of Space Explorers on Wikipedia
- Commercial astronaut on Wikipedia
- Commercialization of space on Wikipedia
- Commercial Spaceflight Federation on Wikipedia
- NewSpace on Wikipedia
- Private spaceflight on Wikipedia
- Homepage: Association of Spaceflight Professionals
- NASA Commercial Crew Program
- Everipedia: Association of Spaceflight Professionals
- Everipedia: Christopher Altman
- Everipedia: Erik Seedhouse
- Everipedia: Soyeon Yi
- MIT AeroAstro News July 2010 MIT.edu
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- Association of Spaceflight Professionals
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- Engineering grad to watch: astronaut for hire Aaron Persad - U of T Engineering News
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- 2013 Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference, “A Training Roadmap for Commercial Suborbital Spaceflight Participants.” Mindy Howard, Brienna Henwood, Ben McGee.
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- Reimuller, J. et al.. PoSSUM: Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere. American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2013, abstract id. SA33B-1993. adsabs.harvard.edu. “An acronym for Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere, PoSSUM grew from the opportunity created by the Noctilucent Cloud Imagery and Tomography Experiment, selected by the NASA Flight Opportunities Program as Experiment 46-S in March 2012.”
- Messier, Doug. Project PoSSUM Graduates First Class of Scientist-Astronauts. Parabolic Arc. February 24, 2015. “The project evolved from the Noctilucent Cloud Imagery and Tomography experiment, selected by NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program in March 2012 as experiment 46-S. PoSSUM is managed by Integrated Spaceflight Services under principal investigator Jason Reimuller, Vice President and COO, Association of Spaceflight Professionals.”
- Association of Spaceflight Professionals [A4H Members Complete PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Training.] NASA News Blog. March 05, 2015. “The Association of Spaceflight Professionals [Astronauts for Hire] would like to congratulate six of its members for completing the inaugural PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Qualification Program that was held from February 7-10, 2015 at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. This project uses commercial suborbital spacecraft to study rare noctilucent clouds that can help scientists address critical questions about the Earth’s climate. It evolved from the “Noctilucent Cloud Imagery and Tomography Experiment,” selected by NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program in March 2012 as experiment 46-S.”
- The PoSSUM Campaign: Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere. Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colorado. [www.swri.org Southwest Research Institute]. “PoSSUM will optimize the opportunity created by the “PMC Imagery and Tomography Experiment”, a high-latitude campaign selected by the NASA Flight Opportunities Program (Experiment 46-S) to study the small-scale dynamics of PMCs (polar mesospheric clouds). The PoSSUM Project will make full use of the 46-S opportunity by fully utilizing all available payload space and campaign deployment time to optimize technology maturation and science return while validating a repeatable, low-cost means to study seasonal trends of PMCs.”
- NASA. About NASA Flight Opportunities. nasa.gov. “The Flight Opportunities program within the NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) strategically invests in the growth of the commercial spaceflight market by providing flight opportunities to test space exploration and utilization technologies on commercially available suborbital flight platforms.” Retrieved 15 April 2019.
- Shiro, Brian. Organizational Milestones: First for Hire Contract, First Spaceflight Mission 2012 Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference.
- Reimuller, Jason. Vice President, Association of Spaceflight Professionals. Project Possum "The suborbital tomography experiment is supported by the NASA Flight Opportunities Program as the 'Noctilucent Cloud Imagery and Tomography Experiment,' granted in March 2012."
- Commercial Crew Test Launches by SpaceX, Boeing Will Begin This Year
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- State of the Union: Live two-hour radio interview with NASA-trained quantum astronaut Christopher Altman Quantum Astronaut: Coeherence and Quantum Technology.
- State of the Future | Live two-hour radio interview with NASA-trained Quantum Astronaut Christopher Altman. Dr Future Show.
- The Space Show: Dr Jason Reimuller. Multiple featured broadcasts.
- The Space Show: Brian Shiro. Multiple featured broadcasts.
- The Space Show: Dr Erik Seedhouse. Multiple featured broadcasts.
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- A4H Newsletter Issue 1, Jan 2012. A4H Members Complete Suborbital Scientist Training.
- The A4H Newsletter Issue 2, Second quarter 2012. A4H makes High-Impact presence at Suborbital Research Conference.
- The A4H Newsletter Issue 3, Third quarter 2012. A4H Completes Second Microgravity Research Job.
- The A4H Newsletter Issue 4, Spring 2013. A4H, The Video: Venturing Ahead to Commercial Spaceflight.
- The A4H Newsletter Issue 5, Fall 2013. Cloud Gazing from Suborbital Space. A4H Member Leads Upper Atmosphere Experiment.
- The A4H Newsletter Issue 6, Summer 2014. Space Oddities: How Bacteria’s Strange Behavior in Space Can Benefit Humanity.
- The A4H Newsletter Issue 7, Fall 2015. Alive and Well in Space: FAA’s Dr. Melchor Antuñano on Medicine and Commercial Space