Almost everyone has dreamed of floating in space above the majestic Earth. Until recently becoming an astronaut was reserved only for the most elite test pilots, engineers, and scientists. Now, the emerging private spaceflight industry will bring space into reach for many more people. These spacecraft will need highly trained crews to manage experiments and payloads since science, in addition to tourism, will be a major driver of of the new industry.
With a well-rounded scientitic resume, I have a real shot at becoming an astronaut. After all, in 2009 I made it to the Highly Qualified round (top 3-12%) of NASA's astronaut selection. Last year I co-founded the Astronauts4Hire nonprofit organization as a training cooperative to help astronaut hopefuls like me to come together and realize our astronaut aspirations. We have negotiated special prices with providers to complete training courses in July 2011. That's just over two month away!
My summer training experience will begin at Survival Systems USA in Connecticut, where my colleagues and I will complete emergency egress and sea survival training. This will help us prepare for emergency situations involving a water landing of the spacecraft. Then, we will go to the NASTAR Center in Pennsylvania, where we will complete the Suborbital Scientist Training Program, which includes spinning up to 6G in a centrifuge to adapt to the forces experienced during spaceflights. We will also spend time in a hypobaric chamber to prepare for emergency situations when the spacecraft cabin could lose oxygen pressure.
Of course, I plan to blog throughout the training and will keep donors especially informed. All contribution amounts, no matter how small, help. For every donation of $100 or more, I will send you a special memento from the training too. In addition, I will optionally display your name and/or logo on my website and flightsuit if you contribute $500 or more. Everyone will get to see video of me undergoing the training so that you can judge for yourself whether I have the Right Stuff to be a commercial astronaut.
As a new father of two with one child in a fairly expensive preschool, I really need the support of my friends, family, and followers to help me raise the funds necessary to cross this important milestone of my future astronaut career. Please help me get there by donating to my Astronaut Training Fund today. Spread the word to all of your friends too. Thank you!