The Out Astronaut Project is a collaboration between Stardom Space and Project PoSSUM to address the under-representation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) people in science and space. We highlight the contributions of LGBTQ members currently working in science and space and provide grants to promising LGBTQ students currently pursuing professions in space-related fields.

We believe that communities are empowered when they are represented. Astronauts inspire our youth, represent limitless possibilities, and serve as ambassadors to STEM. Our goal is to train and fly a member of the LGBTQ community as a scientist-astronaut. This person would be an inspiration to the LGBTQ community while enabling cutting-edge research.

Out Astronaut Project

The Problem:

More than 40 percent of LGBTQ people in STEM are not out and gay and bisexual students are less likely to follow an academic career. Presently, there are few out LGBTQ STEM professionals serving as role models to LGBTQ youth. One example of this is the fact that of the 561 individuals that have been selected as astronauts or cosmonauts, none have ever identified openly as a member of the LGBTQ community.

 

Our Solution:

The International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (IIAS) has donated a grant to the Out Astronaut Project to train the winning candidate through a merit-based selection in the September 2019 Advanced PoSSUM Academy class at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The project then intends to train and fly an exceptional LGBTQ student to space to conduct relevant research while highlighting the contributions of current LGBTQ members making contributions in science and space.

Our Three-Phase Plan to Qualify the first OUT LGBTQ Scientist-Astronaut

PHASE 1: RECEIVE BASIC PoSSUM TRAINING

Credit: Project PoSSUM

PHASE 2: RECEIVE ADVANCED ASTRONAUTICS TRAINING

Credit: International Institute for Astronautical Sciences

PHASE 3: CONDUCT A SCIENCE MISSION IN SPACE

Credit: Blue Origin

Want to get involved?

1. Learn More

Want to meet LGBTQ professionals working today in space-related STEM fields? Want to request someone to speak at your school or organization? These dynamic individuals strive to be role models for LGBTQ youth interested in a career in science and are happy to serve as mentors for aspiring scientists and space professionals.

2. Support Us

The profession sorely needs more scholarship programs to help educate future LGBTQ space scientists and to allow current LGBTQ space scientists to further their careers. To help ensure the continued success of the space sciences, consider our scholarship program for this often overlooked community. It will serve as a lasting contribution to the profession and its underrepresented practitioners.

3. Apply!

If you are a member of the LGBTQ community over the age of 18 who is a student or professional in a STEM field and would like to be a scientist-astronaut, here is your opportunity! We seek passionate individuals interested in enabling scientific exploration and advocating for equality.

Our future lies with today’s kids and tomorrow’s space exploration.

– Dr. Sally Ride, Astronaut