2021 Out Astronaut Phase-1 Contest Finalists

Please Help Us Select a 2021 Phase One ‘Out Astronaut’ Contest Finalist!

It is important that our contestant’s stories are shared broadly in order to provide positive representation to our next LGBTQ-identified STEM professionals, so we ask your help in evaluating and sharing their stories! Your inputs will help our technical assessment process. We ask you objectively consider the following topics when voting for a candidate:


  1. The impact and the novelty of the candidate’s proposed scientific experiment.
  2. The candidate’s ability to inspire and empower LGBTQ-identified people
  3. The feasibility and impact of the candidate’s social impact plan
  4. The feasibility of a successful outcome of the candidate’s proposed scientific experiment.


We want to know what submission you feel contributes the most to LGBTQ representation in STEM and space exploration!


Voting will be active from 0800 ET on 23 February to 2359 on 22 March, 2021.

Total votes for the Contest "2021 Out Astronaut Contest - Phase One" : 2012

The 2021 Out Astronaut Project - Phase One:

Who is eligible:

The Out Astronaut Contest is open to those who identify as part of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) community and are involved in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. We are looking for individuals who openly embrace their role in the LGBTQ+ community and want to serve as role models to LGBTQ+ youth and become representatives of their community as pioneers of astronautical science. Contestants shall also meet the following requirements:

  • Age at time of application: 18-39 years
  • Residency: US, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, or Central America
  • Bachelor’s Degree in a Science, Engineering, or Technology field OR currently enrolled in an accredited degree program ß is this still a requirement? if LGBTQ+ folks are already underserved, we might be excluding people who are highly committed but under-resourced
  • Ability to pass a FAA Class III Flight Physical
  • LGBTQ+ community member



Project PoSSUM has committed scholarship for one individual’s tuition to attend the Advanced PoSSUM Academy at Florida Tech in Melbourne, Florida including lodging and round-trip flight and for the winning candidate. All finalists will receive an Out Astronaut Project T-Shirt and mission patch, and their stories may be featured on our website.


Determining the 12 Phase One Finalists:

The Out Astronaut Project Executive Team and LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee will divide the task of selecting 12 finalists from the pool of applicants based on their written and video submissions. Each finalist will be determined based on an assessment of three criteria: 1) the contestant’s interests and experience in science, technology, engineering, and/or math, 2) the merit of the design of their planned LGBTQ+ engagement project, and 3) the candidate’s potential to be an LGBTQ+ role model and astronautics professional.


Determining the Contest Winner:

The Out Astronaut Project Executive Team and LGBT Advisory Committee will decide the winning contestant based on a reassessment of the 12 finalists’ submissions as well as their personal interviews, which will be conducted online or over the phone, with rankings determined by the same three criteria above (STEM pursuits, LGBTQ+ proposal, professional/role model potential). The award winner will receive a scholarship covering travel, lodging, and tuition for attending the Advanced PoSSUM Academy Program’s Fundamentals of Astronautics course (AST 101), which includes 3 weeks of webinar coursework and a 1-week hands-on intensive.


Project PoSSUM has committed a full scholarship for one individual’s tuition to attend the Advanced PoSSUM Academy, including lodging and round-trip flight and other travel costs for winning candidate.



  • Application Deadline: 30 January 2021
  • Finalists Selected: 8 February 2021
  • Finalist Down-select Process: 8 February - 8 March, 2021
  • Award Announcement: 15 March 2021

Note: Changes in course time frame by the International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (IIAS) or Project PoSSUM due to the COVID-19 pandemic may cause schedule changes.