The Out Astronaut Project is a collaboration between Stardom 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) donates an annual grant to the Out Astronaut Project to train the winning candidate through a merit-based selection to attend the Advanced PoSSUM Academy class at Florida Tech. 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 an OUT Scientist-Astronaut


Credit: Project PoSSUM

Phase One holds annual competitions to encourage LGBTQ-identied individuals in the STEM fields to share their stories publicly and in doing so create visibility and representation.


Credit: International Institute for Astronautical Sciences

Phase Two educates Out Astronaut’s scientist-astronaut candidates to a level of credibility in a scientific field related to astronautics so that our candidates are respected as scientists and/or science enablers rather than as passengers or tourists.


Credit: Blue Origin

Phase Three seeks to fly one fully-qualified Out Scientist-Astronaut Candidate to space on a commercial suborbital spacecraft to conduct experiments and see the investigations through to publication.

Out Astronaut 2021 applications are now closed.  

Thank you to all applicants for your time and effort.  Our Out Astronaut team is impressed by the number and caliber of all applications. The screening and selection process is underway. We will be in touch over the coming weeks with those candidates that continue through the application process.

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