Space Flight Research Program

Volunteers needed to expand the frontiers of human knowledge

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, in collaboration with National Aerospace Training and Research Center (The NASTAR® Center), in Southampton, Pennsylvania, and the FAA Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation is conducting research into the safety training programs that will be used to train spaceflight passengers. Devising these training programs is a key step in preparing for commercial suborbital space travel because it must first be determined what training and preparation private citizens will need for their trip.

Researchers are currently seeking volunteer participants to experience a simulated suborbital spaceflight. The simulated flight will be produced using a high performance centrifuge. The simulator is capable of generating high onset-offset, “G” forces similar to those that might be experienced in high performance aircraft or spacecraft without having to take people into the sky.

Previous studies have investigated how laypersons will tolerate the acceleration exposures involved in suborbital rocket flight. Data from those experiments found that nearly all individuals with well-controlled medical conditions should have no trouble with the moderate acceleration seen in suborbital spaceflight. In the current study, the researchers are looking into how much preparation time future space travelers will need before a flight and which types of training approaches work best.

Study participants will train at the NASTAR® Center near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and then be evaluated. In addition to the centrifuge based simulator, training will also be provided on certain techniques that are commonly used to combat the physiological effects of G-forces. The knowledge obtained from this research study may improve future suborbital spaceflight training and simulation for those able to participate in such travel.

If you are selected for this study, we will provide the simulated spaceflight experience in the NASTAR Center centrifuge for free (a $3000 value). You must provide your own transportation to, and lodging in the Philadelphia area. We are unable to provide additional compensation other than the simulated spaceflight experience and your satisfaction knowing you are a pioneer opening access to space for a larger group of people than ever before.

This study will be conducted during the end of 2015 and the first half of 2016, but may extend into the 3rd quarter of the year.

Please Note: participation in the study requires up to two days of your time. The first day will be from 9:00 AM to approxomately 4:00 PM. The second day will be from 9:00 AM to approximately 3:00 PM. Travel to the Philadelphia area will be required.