The 2020 Out Astronaut Phase-1 Contest is Open!

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:

GOAL: Hold annual competitions to encourage LGBTQ-identified individuals in the STEM fields to share their stories publicly and in doing so create visibility and representation.

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.

ContestBegin DateDeadline
Application Period Deadline31 January 2021
Voting Period1 February 202128 February 2021
Finalist Down-select Process1 March 202112 March 2021
Award Announcement15 March 2021
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 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)

Are you Ready to Apply?

Are you Ready to Vote?

Phase Two:

GOAL: Educate Out Astronaut ‘scientist-astronaut candidates’ that have won initial competitions to a level of credibility in scientific fields related to astronautics through the International Institute of Astroanutical Sciences, parent organization of Project PoSSUM. It is essential that our candidates are respected as scientists and/or science enablers rather than as passengers or tourists.

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 TopicsScheduled LocationsScheduled Times
Spaceflight Physiology and Aerospace Environment TrainingInternational Institute for Astronautical Sciences, Boulder CO.February-April 2023
Spacecraft Egress and Post-landing Training, Advanced Space Suit TrainingGroton, ConnecticutApril 2023
Planetary Field Geology and Operational Space MedicineSan Francisco Volcanic Fields, Flagstaff AZ.May-June 2023
Airborne High-Altitude Noctilucent Cloud Research and Data AnalysisYellowknife, Northwest Territories, CanadaJuly 2023
Life Support Systems, Space Flight System Engineering, and Operational Research Methods TrainingInternational Institute for Astronautical Sciences, Boulder CO.August-October 2023
Microgravity IVA Space Suit Training and EVA Gravity-Offset Space Suit TrainingNational Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.October 2023
Award Announcement for Suborbital Flight Opportunity15 December 2023
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:

GOAL: Fly one qualied OUT Scientist-Astronaut Candidate to space on a commercial suborbital spacecraft (e.g. Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic) to conduct experiments and see the investigations through to publication.

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.