PoSSUM Bioastronautics Courses

PoSSUM Bioastronautics

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

Testing water egress procedures

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
Spaceflight Physiology

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
mets

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: Spacesuit Post-Landing Operational Testing
Testing water egress procedures

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

Description

This course is administered virtually and 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.

Outline

Physiological Adaptation to Spaceflight (4 weeks)

Vestibular System
Neurophysiology and human performance
Cardiopulmonary System
Body mass and neuromuscular function
Bone and mineral metabolism

Health Maintenance of Space Crews (2 weeks)

Historical selection criteria of astronauts
Medical training of space crews
Deconditioning and countermeasures

Medical problems in spaceflight (2 weeks)

Toxic hazards in space habitations
Radiation exposure
Health maintenance in space

Costs and Prerequisites:

Next Class: 3 April – 26 May, 2018

Location: Virtual

Cost: $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 2-6, 2018 (plus three weeks of webinars)

Location: Survival Systems, USA, Groton, CT.

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

BIO103: Microgravity Spacesuit Evaluation

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: October 2-4, 2017

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 Spacecraft Egress and Rescue Operations course
  3. Open Water SCUBA Certification (NAUI, PADI, SSI, or equivalent)
  4. April 2018 course restricted to candidates 5’8” or taller (suit fitting requirement)

 

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:

Day 1:

  • Introduction to post-landing systems integral to the spacesuit (classroom).
  • Capsule boilerplate egress and raft ingress (on tether with LPUs)

 

Day 2:

  • Controlled immersion 1: Calm Daylight Conditions
  • Controlled immersion 2: Elevated Sea States and Winds, Daylight Conditions

 

Day 3:

  • Controlled immersion 3: Night simulation, Calm conditions
  • Controlled immersion 3: Night simulation, Elevated Sea States and Winds

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Costs and Prerequisites:

Next Class: April 7-9, 2018

Location: Groton, CT.

Cost: TBD