PoSSUM Bioastronautics Courses

PoSSUM Bioastronautics Program - qualifying IVA spacesuits, mission contingency planning, spaceflight physiology, and spacecraft egress.

The PoSSUM Bioastronautics Program has been co-developed by Project PoSSUM, Integrated Spaceflight Services, Final Frontier Design, and the National Research Council, the Southern Aeromedical Institute, and Survival Systems USA. Emphasis is on microgravity, high-altitude, high-G, and post-landing operations of Intra-Vehicular Activity spacesuits.  This program will provide a broad, practical education geared to the professional interested in a career in commercial astronautics and qualify one for PoSSUM suborbital spacesuit evaluation and training missions.

What we do

Microgravity and High-G Spacesuit Training

Project PoSSUM is the exclusive microgravity evaluation partner of Final Frontier Design and uses a specially-modified Falcon-20 Zero-G aircraft to simulate the interior cabin and cockpit environments of commercial space vehicles. Each PoSSUM team member will receive 1) mission specific training, 2) CITI biomedical training, 3) approval through an Internal Review Board (IRB) and Test Readiness Review, 4) rights to be included in any scientific publications generated through this research, and 5) unique and exclusive mission patch.

BIO 103 students participate in all aspects of mission preparation and training, including pre-flight testing, mission rehearsals, and data collection. This opportunity is limited to 12 members each year. Several objectives will be conducted on each microgravity flight, including range of motion, translation, seat ingress and egress, ventilating or pressurization, biometric system operations, and mission simulation.

High-Altitude Spacesuit Training

PoSSUM students are introduced to simulated suborbital spaceflight in an actual high-altitude environment at the SAMI facility in Melbourne, FL as part of testing conducted periodically in Melbourne, FL. Testing involving PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut candidates extend upon previous high-altitude training and be exposed to hypoxic environments at an equivalent altitude of 25,000′.  When symptoms are observed, the canddiate must be able to seal the spacesuit visor, regulate pressure, and continue the simulated mission.

Post-Landing and Terrestrial Analog Environment Education

side hatch Shawna-min

In an exclusive partnership with Survival Systems USA, Project PoSSUM graduates have the unique opportunity to study landing and post-landing environments and their implications on vehicle and spacesuit design and egress procedures as part of the BIO 102 ‘Spacecraft Egress and Rescue Operations’ course. Administered each April, immersive aircraft egress and sea survival components complement the instructional material to provide an intuitive understanding. The BIO 104 ‘Advanced Spacecraft Egress’ introduces IVA spacesuits to nominal and off-nominal egress procedures in varying lighting and sea conditions.

PoSSUM Bioastronautics Courses

BIO 101: Spaceflight Physiology
Erik 300x200

BIO 101 covers the unique aspects of health maintenance of individuals exposed to the rigors of spaceflight. An overview of the physiological changes resulting from prolonged exposures to weightlessness and the establishment of countermeasures are presented in this course as with an understanding of the methods currently in use to mitigate these changes.

BIO 102: Spacecraft Egress and Rescue Operations
Yorktown team

BIO 102 is the first professional education course on the landing and post-landing phase of manned spacecraft missions. this course covers nominal and contingency landing scenarios, post-landing planning, rescue and recovery architecture design, egress systems and operational procedures, deconditioning and post-landing survivability, generalized egress skills, and emergency egress bottle use.

BIO 103: Microgravity Spacesuit Evaluation
PoSSUM team members testing seat ingress methods in microgravity using Final Frontier 3G IVA spacesuits (credit: Cinemaraven)

BIO 103 provides a foundation in the microgravity environment, microgravity research campaign planning and operations, human factors and spacesuit evaluation research, biomedical monitoring systems, science communication and public outreach. Students will evaluate prototype seat concepts, suit/seat interface, the umbilical interface, and ingress and egress procedures.

BIO 104: Space Suit Post-Landing Operations
Project PoSSUM members test Final Frontier space suits from test article approximating NASA's Orion spacecraft

BIO 104 provides instruction on spacesuit use in nominal and off-nominal post-landing environments. Students demonstrate reliable functionality of parachute release, life preserver unit (LPU), and snorkel functionality in varying sea and lighting conditions. Students also learn the effective use of radios, beacons, signal flares, and other signaling devices in water and egress bottle use for egress operations.

Course Curriculum and Schedules

BIO101: Spaceflight Physiology

 Overview:

The course provides an overview of the physiological changes and adaptations that occur during each phase of spaceflight: ascent, early orbit, long-term flight, extra vehicular activities, and reentry. It also describes the counter measures in current use. Data from previous and current U.S. and Russian programs are discussed, in addition to current commercial spaceflight ventures. The physiological/life support requirements for spacecraft design are considered, as well as the techniques and potential impacts of crew selection, training, in-flight medical care, and contingencies. Aspects of human participation during exploration class missions/colonization are reviewed. A medical/life sciences background is not required.

Course Objectives:

Provide each student with the basis of knowledge and complement of skills necessary for awareness and application of human spaceflight physiology to the exploration of space. To further the understanding between space physiology and all the other fields of endeavor within space systems.

Textbook:

Fundamentals of Space Medicine, Third Edition, Clement.

Lectures and Assignments:

The course will consist of ten one-hour webinars and four assignments. Students will receive either a Pass or Fail grade.

Webinar 1 (February 5, 2018): Course Overview Handout Historical Perspectives from John Paul Stapp to present day. Assignment: Describe the development of biophysics and its impact upon early astronaut medical selection criteria

Webinar 2 (February 12, 2018): Environmental Control / Life Support System: subsystems Extra Vehicular Activities. Prebreathe and decompression sickness Toxic Hazards. Trace contaminants, VOCs and the SMAC list.

Webinar 3 (February 19, 2018): Human Capabilities in Space, Human systems adaptation: Cardiovascular and Fluid and Electrolyte Assignment: Describe the mechanisms that cause visual impairments in astronauts and the rationale behind the countermeasures applied to mitigating this problem.

Webinar 4 (February 26, 2018): Human Capabilities in Space, Human systems adaptation: Skeletal

Webinar 5 (March 12, 2018): Human Capabilities in Space, Human systems adaptation: Neurovestibular Assignment: Explain the rationale for the pre-breathe procedure and how risks may be mitigated.

Webinar 6 (March 19, 2018): Human Capabilities in Space, Human systems adaptation: Muscular

Webinar 7 (March 26, 2018): Human Capabilities in Space, Human systems adaptation: Radiation Assignment: Describe the short and long term effects to high doses of ionizing radiation andexplain how astronauts may be protected by GCRs in deep space.

Webinar 8 (April 2, 2018): Psychological Considerations, Astronaut select-in and select-out medical criteria.

Webinar 9 (April 9, 2018): Operational Space Medicine Emergency Rescue Support Space Life Sciences Research.

Webinar 10 (April 16, 2018): Exploration Class Missions and Human Adaptation. Pantropy. Genetic selection and genetic manipulation

Assignment 1 Due: February 16, 2018
Assignment 2 Due: March 2, 2018
Assignment 3 Due: March 23, 2018
Assignment 4 Due: April 6, 2018

 

Instructor: Erik Seedhouse, Ph.D.

Next Class: 4 February – 15 April, 2019

Tuition: $825 (Open University)

BIO102: Spacecraft Egress and Rescue Operations

Offered by Integrated Spaceflight Services exclusively in partnership with Survival Systems USA,  ‘Spacecraft Egress, Sea Survival, and Rescue Operations’ is the first professional education course on the landing and post-landing phase of manned spacecraft missions. This background is essential when considering spacesuit design criteria.

Curriculum

Each program provides an immersive educational experience covering the following topics:

Spaceflight-Specific Topics of Study:

  • Planning for Nominal and Contingency Landings
  • Nominal Rescue Operations
  • Contingency Rescue Operations for Land Landing Spacecraft
  • International Program-Specific Agreements
  • Global SAR Response Resources supporting Contingency Landings
  • Contingency Rescue Operations for Water Landing Spacecraft
  • Pad Egress Failure Environments, Pad Egress Design and Operations
  • Early De-orbit scenarios
  • Post-Landing Contingencies
  • Egress Systems
  • Egress Procedures and Operations
  • Assessing Probabilities and Effects of Injuries and Deconditioning
  • Assessing the Effects of Deconditioning on Egress Operations
  • Incapacitation through Entrapment
  • Egress and Post-Landing Operations in the Age of Commercial Manned Spaceflight
  • Emergency Post-Landing Survival Kits, Medical Resources

Fundamental Egress and Post-Landing Survivability Skills:

  • Safety and survival equipment utilization and deployment
  • Coping with physiological and psychological stress
  • Introduction of rescue devices and simulated rescues
  • Preparation for emergency landing situations in a spacecraft
  • Evacuation through an emergency exit from a spacecraft
  • Physics and physiology for use of compressed air;
  • Preflight inspection, egress considerations, and clearing procedures using an EBD
  • Conducting an emergency egress on breath hold utilizing the Shallow Water Egress Trainer
  • Conducting an emergency egress with an EBD utilizing the Shallow Water Egress Trainer
  • Evacuation and escape training utilizing the Modular Egress Training Simulator (METS™) with and without utilizing an EBD

Sea Survival Skills:

  • Safety and survival equipment utilization and deployment
  • Introduction to hypothermia mitigation and sea survival
  • Personal rescue techniques and use of life rafts and signaling devices
  • Characteristics of personal flotation devices and aviation jackets
  • Life raft deployment/entry and simulated emergency scenarios
  • Introduction to individual and group sea surface formations
  • Introduction to search and rescue resources and equipment

Costs and Prerequisites:

Next Class: April 7-11, 2019 (plus three weeks of webinars)

Location: Survival Systems, USA, Groton, CT.

Cost: $3500 (PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Graduate Rate: $3000)

BIO103: Microgravity Spacesuit Evaluation

BIO 103 provides a foundation in the microgravity environment, microgravity research campaign planning and operations, human factors and spacesuit evaluation research, biomedical monitoring systems, science communication and public outreach. Students will evaluate prototype seat concepts, suit/seat interface, the umbilical interface, and ingress and egress procedures.

2018 objectives include: higher fidelity sensors, both for environmental and for biomedical data, testing of blood CO2 monitoring systems, validation of enhanced biomedical monitoring systems, testing improved harness design, testing improved pump system, incorporation of flight simulator improvements representing the F104 Starfighter.

Each program provides an immersive educational experience covering the following topics:

  • Microgravity Research Campaign Planning and Operations
  • Human Factors and Spacesuit Evaluation Research
  • Biomedical Monitoring Systems
  • Science Communication and Public Outreach
  • CITI biomedical training
  • Mission Analysis and Debrief

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What to expect

Participating members should allow for three days to train and fly.  Upon arrival, each members will receive a safety briefing and instruction on research protocol. Teams are grouped as follows: two suited test participants, two unsuited test participants, one test director, and one flight director.

Members may participate in egress tests and system testing.  All teams will rehearse until they reach a level of proficiency in 1G conditions before their flight.  Once the mission is approved by both test director and flight director, the flight will commence.

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Mission Plan:

Each sortie is planned for 18-24 parabolas. A flight may be terminated  for any of the following reasons:

  1. Test participant vomiting in the suit,
  2. Excessive vomiting by any test subject, or
  3. Any condition created by a flight team that violates any safety protocol

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Costs and Prerequisites:

Next Class: Research campaign from October 16-19, 2018. 6-weeks of webinar-based instruction starts 21 August.

Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Cost: $3500 unsuited, $5500 suited (graduation from PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Program or Advanced PoSSUM Academy required)

BIO104: Advanced Egress - Spacesuit Landing and Post-Landing Testing

Prerequisites:

  1. PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Program or Advanced PoSSUM Academy
  2. PoSSUM BIO 102: Spacecraft Egress and Rescue Operations course
  3. Open Water SCUBA Certification (NAUI, PADI, SSI, or equivalent)

 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Demonstrate stable floatation for various size test subjects
  2. Demonstrate reliable functionality of parachute release in varying sea conditions
  3. Demonstrate reliable functionality of snorkel system in varying sea conditions
  4. Demonstrate raft ingress in varying sea conditions
  5. Qualitative assessments of suit functionality and comfort with LPU
  6. Demonstrate effective use of radios, beacons, signal flares, and other signaling devices in water
  7. Demonstrate effective use of egress bottle for egress operations

 

Curriculum:

Classroom instruction: Suit (Pressure suit system description, Analog suit differences),  Parachute components, Ejection (sequence, components), Post-ejection, Post-departure through crew/seat separation, Descent (Post seat separation through canopy open and canopy descent, Proper position, CVSPSR, Landing), Survival/signaling, Survival gear descriptions and use, Signaling ops, Water Operations (Psychological, Practical), Rescue Operations, Safety

Capsule Egress Operations: Unsuited Capsule Egress (Side Hatch, Top Hatch, Life raft ops/ingress, Raft ops/signaling), Suited Capsule Egress (Side Hatch, Top Hatch, Life raft ops/ingress, Raft ops/signaling)

Suited Parachute lift and drop: dry (Lift, Position, Canopy check, Visor, Seat kit, Prepare, Release), Suited Parachute lift – wet ((Lift, Position, Canopy check, Visor, Seat kit, Prepare, Drop, Release

Canopy extraction, Hoist ops (Horse collar, Forrest Penetrator, Mail hook)

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DAY ONE:

Time Event Location Leader
8:00 Pressure Suit Familiarization and Safety Classroom Southern
9:00 Parachute and Ejection Seat Operations Classroom Trujillo
10:00 Landing and Rescue Operations Classroom Trujillo
11:00 Orion Stable I Egress Ops: Unsuited Side Hatch Pool Reimuller
12:00 Orion Stable I Egress Ops: Unsuited Top Hatch Pool Reimuller
13:00 LUNCH Cafeteria N/A
14:00 Orion Stable I Egress Ops: Suited Side Hatch and Life Raft Ingress, raft ops (signaling) Pool Trujillo, Southern, Reimuller
15:00
16:00
17:00
18:00 DINNER TBD N/A
19:00
20:00 KEYNOTE TALK: Orion Rescue and Recovery Conference Room Trujillo

 

DAY TWO:

Time Event Location Leader
8:00 Orion Stable I Egress Ops: Suited Top Hatch and Life Raft Ingress, raft ops (signaling) (continued) Pool Trujillo, Southern, Reimuller
9:00
10:00
11:00
12:00 LUNCH Cafeteria N/A
13:00 Parachute Suited Ops: 1) Dry Parachute lift, 2) Wet Parachute lift and drop (feet over water, day conditions), 3) canopy extraction Pool Trujillo, Southern, Reimuller
14:00
15:00
16:00
17:00
18:00 DINNER TBD N/A
19:00
20:00 KEYNOTE TALK: TBD Conference Room TBD

 

DAY THREE:

Time Event Location Leader
8:00 Parachute Suited Ops: 1) Wet Parachute lift and drop (nominal impact velocity, day conditions), 2) Wet Parachute lift and drop (nominal impact velocity, night conditions), 3) hoist ops Pool Trujillo, Southern, Reimuller
9:00
10:00
11:00
12:00 LUNCH Cafeteria N/A
13:00 Parachute Suited Ops: 1) Wet Parachute lift and drop (nominal impact velocity, day conditions), 2) Wet Parachute lift and drop (nominal impact velocity, night conditions), 3) hoist ops (continued) Pool Trujillo, Southern, Reimuller
14:00
15:00
16:00
17:00
18:00 GRADUATION Classroom Reimuller

 

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Costs and Prerequisites:

Next Class: April 12-15, 2019

Location: Groton, CT.

Cost: $3000

One-day Egress refresher course available on April 12th, 2018 ($800)