27 Oct Project PoSSUM Graduates Scientist-Astronaut Class 1502

On October 8th, Project PoSSUM graduated 11 students as part of PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Class 1502. The PoSSUM candidates learned about upper-atmospheric and noctilucent cloud science while participating in realistic mission simulations developed in partnership with Embry-Riddle. These simulations trained its candidates to effectively use PoSSUM imager systems and instrumentation to study noctilucent clouds in suborbital flight. In addition, candidates received initial spacesuit training, high-altitude and hypoxia awareness training, and aerospace physiology training with world-champion aerobatic pilot Patty Wagstaff.

The eleven candidates that graduated from Class 1502 include Richard Blakeman of Lakewood, Colo., Dr., Aaron Persad of Toronto, Ontario, Dr. Pedro Llanos of Daytona Beach, Fla., Dr. Justin Karl of Orlando, Fla., Brian Thomas of Helena, Ala., Kyle Foster of Centerville, Va., Christopher Macomber of Orlando, Fla., Dr. Michael Gallagher of Edmonton, Alberta, Dr. Shawna Pandya of Edmonton, Alberta, and Troy Michael Cole of Everett, Wash.

“PoSSUM has exposed me to a number of specialty experiences that I wouldn’t have otherwise encountered in my R&D efforts or civilian pilot training.” said PoSSUM Class 1502 Graduate Dr. Justin Karl, “Spaceflight simulations, spacesuit operations, anti-G garments, aerobatic flight, and the effects of high altitude were neatly packaged so that I could gain first-order competencies in a short period of time.  In addition to better defining my capabilities as an engineer and pilot, I have been able to add these valuable skills to a growing foundation that I hope to utilize on a future spaceflight.”

The next PoSSUM scientist-astronaut class will occur at Embry-Riddle from April 9-13, 2016. Applications may be made online at www.projectpossum.org.

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