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:
Read more on applicant and contestant rights at the Applicant Bill of Rights
Project PoSSUM has committed a full scholarship for one individual’s tuition to attend the next Advanced PoSSUM Academy art Florida Tech in Melbourne, Florida, including lodging and round-trip flight and other travel costs for winning candidate. APPLY BY 31 JANUARY 2021.
|Application Period Deadline||31 January 2021|
|Voting Period||1 February 2021||28 February 2021|
|Finalist Down-select Process||1 March 2021||12 March 2021|
|Award Announcement||15 March 2021|
Determining the Contest Winners:
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. The award winner will receive a scholarship covering travel, lodging, and tuition for attending the Advanced PoSSUM Academy Program at Florida Tech in Melbourne, FL.
Phase One Award Breakdown:
1) All finalists will receive an Out Astronaut Project T-Shirt and a mission patch. 2) The award winner selected from this group will receive an all-expense paid trip to attend the next Advanced PoSSUM Academy Program at Florida Tech in Melbourne, Florida, currently scheduled for April 2021 (date may impacted by COVID-19 restrictions)
The Out Astronaut Project is currently seeking donations and sponsorship to support Phase Two of the project. This phase will fund four Phase One winners 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.
|Training and Evaluation Topics||Scheduled Locations||Scheduled Times|
|Spaceflight Physiology and Aerospace Environment Training||International Institute for Astronautical Sciences, Boulder CO.||February-April 2023|
|Spacecraft Egress and Post-landing Training, Advanced Space Suit Training||Groton, Connecticut||April 2023|
|Planetary Field Geology and Operational Space Medicine||San Francisco Volcanic Fields, Flagstaff AZ.||May-June 2023|
|Airborne High-Altitude Noctilucent Cloud Research and Data Analysis||Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada||July 2023|
|Life Support Systems, Space Flight System Engineering, and Operational Research Methods Training||International Institute for Astronautical Sciences, Boulder CO.||August-October 2023|
|Microgravity IVA Space Suit Training and EVA Gravity-Offset Space Suit Training||National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.||October 2023|
|Award Announcement for Suborbital Flight Opportunity||15 December 2023|
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.