Coming soon to an airshow near you: Rocket Racing League.

I've always been a big fan of aviation and spent the better part of my youth immersed in it since my dad was a private pilot very active in the local AOPA club. Some of my favorite memories from those days are attending air shows with my family at a nearby Air Force base and flying to the EAA Oshkosh Show in Wisconsin.

The Rocket Racing League (RRL) is a new kind of airshow, which had its debut event at the Tulsa Air Show this past weekend. Think of it as Star Wars podracing meets NASCAR.  RRL uses the latest rocket and augmented reality technologies to allow both the pilots and the spectators to feel like they're flying through a virtual racecourse in the sky.  There is even an iPhone app that allows you to join in the fun.

Below is a highlight video from Miles O'Brien covering the first RRL event. Check out the RRL YouTube Channel for more.

On April 15, Obama outlined a new strategy for NASA at the Presidential Space Summit held at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The plan proposes a sizable increase in NASA's budget, a privatizing of access to low-earth orbit, and shift in focus toward new technology development.  A fellow A4H was there firsthand to witness the event. If you, like me, couldn't be there, check out this NASA video that explains the new plan:

I'm excited to announce an exciting project that has occupied a great deal of my time for the past few weeks. Check out our first press release below:


April 12, 2010

Astronauts4Hire Launches, Selects Initial Candidates for Commercial Scientist Astronauts

Phoenix, Arizona – Astronauts4Hire, a new collaborative effort to support and develop a pool of qualified, commercial scientist astronauts announces today the launch of its website ( and selection of 11 initial astronaut candidates. The candidates, selected from industry and academia, bring with them a wide variety of experience and expertise, representing a diverse set of disciplines. Pooling their collective resources and talents, and leveraging their common passion and commitment for space exploration, the candidates have created Astronauts4Hire to support the emerging suborbital research industry. On a day that marks the anniversaries of the first human to orbit the Earth and the maiden flight of the Space Shuttle, this announcement marks a push towards a new era of more accessible commercial space research and exploration.

Astronauts4Hire is soliciting sponsors and donors to enable the candidates to undergo spaceflight training and obtain other pertinent experience that will increase their competitiveness as astronauts-for-hire by those private firms conducting scientific research on suborbital platforms. The initial target is to obtain $40,000 USD, which will be used to allow the initial astronaut candidates to take part in the three-day Suborbital Scientist Training Program at the NASTAR Center in Pennsylvania. The course includes medical screening, classroom preparation, centrifuge and hypobaric chamber training.

Additional astronaut candidates and training course targets will be identified as the effort moves forward. Astronauts4Hire intends to become the one-stop shop for those seeking qualified, experienced professionals to conduct microgravity and other research on suborbital, and later orbital platforms. The website will eventually evolve to allow anyone who has the dream of becoming a commercial astronaut to create an online profile listing their experience and training, allowing them to see how they rank against other prospective astronauts. The site will become an interactive tool, providing a forum for discussion and collaboration.

The initial Astronauts4Hire are:

For more information about Astronauts4Hire, its initial astronaut candidates, and sponsorship opportunities, please visit:


Interested parties can download and distribute the press release as a MS Word or Adobe PDF document.

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