Eligibility:

The Out Astronaut Contest is a three-phase competition that is open to those who are 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, 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
  • Bachelors Degree or currently enrolled in an accredited degree program
  • Ability to obtain an FAA Class III Flight Physical (or equivalent)

 

Read more on applicant and contestant rights at the Applicant Bill of Rights

Phase One:

Project PoSSUM has committed a full scholarship for one individual’s tuition to attend the Advanced PoSSUM Academy this October 2019, including lodging and round-trip flight and other travel costs for winning candidate.

ContestBegin DateDeadline
Application Period12 April 201915 July 2019
Voting Period15 July 201931 August 2019
Finalists Selected1 September 2019
Finalist Down-select Process1 September 20197 September 2019
Award Announcement8 September 2019
PoSSUM Astrodynamics and Space Flight Operations Training
PoSSUM Astrodynamics and Space Flight Operations Training
PoSSUM Suborbital Simulation Configured for Noctilucent Cloud Tomography Missions
PoSSUM Suborbital Simulation Configured for Noctilucent Cloud Tomography Missions
PoSSUM Basic Space Suit Training
PoSSUM Basic Space Suit Training

Phase One Evaluation Criteria:

Determining the 12 Phase One Finalists: The initial 12 finalists will be determined through a social media contest where your peers will vote on the merit of your video submission.

 

Determining the Contest Winners: the Out Astronaut Project Executive Team and LGBTQ Advisory Committee will decide the winning contestant based an assessment of the contestant’s 1) Personal interview, 2) letters of reference, 3) essay, 4) character evaluation form, and 5) video submission. The award winner will receive an all-expense paid trip to attend the October 2019 Advanced PoSSUM Academy Program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida.

 

Phase One Award Breakdown: 1) All 12 finalists will receive an Out Astronaut Project T-Shirt and a Project PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Manual. 2) The award winner selected from this group will receive an all-expense paid trip to attend the October 2019 Advanced PoSSUM Academy Program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, 3) Three contestants will be selected as runner-up selections. These individuals will each qualify as finalists for the Phase Two contest.

Are you Ready to Apply?

Are you Ready to Vote?

Phase Two:

The Out Astronaut Project is currently seeking donations and sponsorship to support Phase Two of the project. This phase will fund four individuals, including the Phase One winner, to attend the year-long IIAS Applied Astronautics Program. In addition to tuition, the winning candidates will receive round-trip airfare, lodging, and other travel expenses. We need to raise $75K to make this happen.

ContestBegin DateDeadline
Application Period15 November 201931 January 2020
Finalists Selected1 February 2020
Award Announcement5 February 2020
ContestBegin DateDeadline
Spaceflight Physiology, Celestial Navigation, and Aerospace Environment Training5 February 202015 April 2020
Introduction to Applied Astronautics (Advanced PoSSUM Academy at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University)1 April 202015 April 2020
Spacecraft Egress and Post-landing Training and Operational Research (In Groton, CT)15 April 202030 April 2020
Airborne High-Altitude Noctilucent Cloud Research and Data Analysis (in High Level, AB)15 June 20201 August 2020
Life Support Systems and Research Methods Training1 August 202030 September 2020
Microgravity Space Suit Evaluation (with the National Research Council of Canada)1 October 202015 November 2020
Award Announcement for Suborbital Flight Opportunity15 December 2020

If less than the $75K is raised by the deadline to start the training program for 2020, then funding will first be given to the Phase One winner to complete their training. The other three winning candidates will be trained in 2020 as funding permits or deferred to 2021.

BIO 103: Microgravity space suit evaluation
BIO 103: Microgravity space suit evaluation
AER 103: Airborne Noctilucent Cloud Imagery
AER 103: Airborne Noctilucent Cloud Imagery
BIO 104: Space SuIt Post-landing Evaluation
BIO 104: Space SuIt Post-landing Evaluation

Want to Help?

Phase Three:

In Phase Three, the Out Astronaut Project will seek sponsorship to support one LGBTQ scientist-astronaut candidate to fly to space and do meaningful research of global importance. We need to raise $250K additional to make this happen.