STEP I: Apply for an Initial PoSSUM Program

Learn to fly suborbital PoSSUM noctilucent cloud science missions, work in spacesuits, operate PoSSUM instrumentation, and communicate PoSSUM’s science. Graduates are eligible to fly suborbital POSSUM research missions or enroll in specialized PoSSUM graduate programs detailed below.

The PoSSUM Space

For high school and university students age fifteen and older

Enroll in the immersive PoSSUM Space Academy program at the Space Foundation in Colorado Springs, CO. Open to students and interested public of all ages, this four-day program covers all academic topics presented in the PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut program but is taught at a level that does not assume math past basic geometry and trigonometry. Reserve your place in the PoSSUM Space Academy by applying online.

Tuition: $1950

25% deposit required to secure reservation. SCUBA experience recommended.

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Advanced PoSSUM Academy

For undergraduate students and aspiring astronauts

Apply to Advanced PoSSUM Academy, held each Spring and Fall at Embry-Riddle. This five-day course contains all the training elements as the PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Program except medical monitoring and is taught at a level that does not assume math past basic geometry and trigonometry. Upon receipt of your B.S. degree from an accredited university, Advanced PoSSUM Academy graduates are eligible to become a fully-qualified PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut! Reserve your place in the Advanced PoSSUM Academy Program by applying online.

Tuition: $3900

FAA Class 3 Physical and 25% deposit is required to secure reservation. SCUBA experience recommended.

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PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Program

For professionals holding an accredited B.S. degree in a STEM field

Become a PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut! The PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Program at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is a five-day, fully immersive training program that will provide the skills required to effectively conduct research as part of Project PoSSUM. Graduates are eligible to enroll in the PoSSUM Bioastronautics Program, Technologies Program and SciArts Program and may also qualify as Certified PoSSUM Instructors and even fly as a PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut on PoSSUM suborbital research missions! Only 12 candidates are selected for each class.

Tuition: $5000

Upon selection, FAA Class 3 Physical, SCUBA experience, and 25% deposit is required to secure reservation.

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PoSSUM mission simulation. All PoSSUM students learn to use PoSSUM space-qualified instrumentation to perform suborbital noctilucent cloud tomography missions in real pressurized spacesuits.

STEP II: Enroll in PoSSUM Graduate Programs

Want to evaluate spacesuits in analog space environments? Teach high school students about astronautics? Develop and fly your own experiment? Find artistic ways to communicate science? PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut and Advanced PoSSUM Academy graduates have unique opportunities to enroll in specialized graduate programs as they prepare for spaceflight.

Project PoSSUM citizen science astronautics

PoSSUM Aeronomy Research Program

The PoSSUM Aeronomy Program provides a practical education for the professional interested in upper-atmospheric research from research aircraft, high-altitude balloons, and suborbital spacecraft. Learn to study noctilucent clouds from research aircraft, design space instrumentation and continue your initial PoSSUM training with mission specific training for suborbital tomography missions. Courses include AER 101 (Suborbital Space Environment), AER 102 (Celestial Navigation for Space Missions), AER 103 (Airborne Remote Sensing of Noctilucent Clouds), and AER 104 (Suborbital Remote Sensing of Noctilucent Clouds)

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PoSSUM Bioastronautics Program

The PoSSUM Bioastronautics Program provides a broad, practical education geared to the professional interested in a career in commercial astronautics while qualifying one for PoSSUM suborbital spacesuit evaluation missions using Final Frontier IVA spacesuits. Learn to test spacesuits in microgravity environments, high-G environments, and landing and post-landing environments. Courses in the PoSSUM Bioastronautics Program include BIO 101 (Spaceflight Physiology), BIO 102 (Spacecraft Egress and Rescue Operations), BIO 103 (Microgravity Spacesuit Evaluations), and BIO 104 (Advanced Spacecraft Egress).

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PoSSUM Science Education Program

PoSSUM Science Educators have exclusive opportunities to teach PoSSUM science to advanced high-school and undergraduate students in their local communities. This program also provides opportunities to work with astronauts and artists to explore new ways to enable science communication through diversity of artistic interpretation. Courses offered include: EDU 101 (Fundamentals of Citizen Science and Research Methods), EDU 102 (Spacesuit and Simulator Technician Qualification Course), EDU 103 (PoSSUM Educator Qualification Program), and EDU 104 (Sci-Arts and Science Communication).

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Project OTTER: Orbital Technologies and Tools for Extravehicular Research

PoSSUM graduates interested in operations beyond suborbital may enroll in Project OTTER (‘Orbital Tehnologies and Tools for Extravehicular Research’). OTTER designs and calibrates actual satellites while testing Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) space suit technologies and procedures in analog microgravity, Lunar and Martian environments. Courses offered include: EVA 101 (Space and Remote Medicine), EVA 102 (Life Support Systems and EVA Operations), EVA 103 (Extraterrestrial Geology and EVA Tool Development), and EVA 104 (Saturation Diving and EVA Planning).

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Words From PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Candidates

Photos credit Ross Lockwood