15 Apr Project PoSSUM Graduates 13 Scientist-Astronaut Candidates in Class 1601

PoSSUM graduated 13 new Scientist-Astronaut Candidates as part of PoSSUM Class 1601. The PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Program, designed by former NASA astronaut instructors and hosted by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla., gives its candidates the skills to effectively conduct research on commercial space vehicles as part of an international research campaign dedicated to the study of our global climate.


The PoSSUM graduates will now participate in several research programs, including a prototype spacesuit evaluation program, educational outreach programs, and technology development programs in preparation for suborbital research missions.


The PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut program is an intense training curriculum that covers atmospheric science, remote sensing, celestial mechanics, particle scattering, spaceflight physiology and PoSSUM instrument operations. At Embry-Riddle, students received comprehensive spacesuit training, high-altitude and hypoxia awareness training, and aerospace physiology training with world-champion aerobatic pilot Patty Wagstaff. Students also received first-hand instruction on space-based imagery techniques from NASA astronaut Don Pettit.


This Scientist-Astronaut class also hosted the first PoSSUM forum, titled “Project PoSSUM and the Art of Science Communication,” featuring artist, retired astronaut, and Embry-Riddle alumna Nicole Stott; astronaut Don Pettit; artist and explorer Dr. Sarah Jane Pell; neuroscientist and SciArt Exchange Executive Director Jancy McPhee; and Project PoSSUM Executive Director Dr. Jason Reimuller.


The 13 graduating candidates include Axel Garcia Burgos of San Juan, Puerto Rico; Ahmed Farid of Munich, Germany; Tom Foltz of Fort Wayne, Ind.; Dr. Rui Moura of Porto, Portugal; Omar Samra of Cairo, Egypt; Maj. Michael Parkhill of Lindsay, Texas; Anima Patil-Sabale of San Ramon, Calif.; Dr. Sarah Jane Pell of Victoria, Australia; Lt. Dustin Wallace of Norfolk, Va.; Hampton Black of Tampa, Florida; Brien Posey of Rock Hill, South Carolina, and Andreea Radulescu and Dr. Erik Seedhouse, both of Toronto, Canada

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