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 Advanced PoSSUM Academy this October 2019, including lodging and round-trip flight and other travel costs for winning candidate.
|Application Period||12 April 2019||15 July 2019|
|Voting Period||15 July 2019||31 August 2019|
|Finalists Selected||1 September 2019|
|Finalist Down-select Process||1 September 2019||7 September 2019|
|Award Announcement||8 September 2019|
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.
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.
|Application Period||15 November 2019||31 January 2020|
|Finalists Selected||1 February 2020|
|Award Announcement||5 February 2020|
|Spaceflight Physiology, Celestial Navigation, and Aerospace Environment Training||5 February 2020||15 April 2020|
|Introduction to Applied Astronautics (Advanced PoSSUM Academy at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University)||1 April 2020||15 April 2020|
|Spacecraft Egress and Post-landing Training and Operational Research (In Groton, CT)||15 April 2020||30 April 2020|
|Airborne High-Altitude Noctilucent Cloud Research and Data Analysis (in High Level, AB)||15 June 2020||1 August 2020|
|Life Support Systems and Research Methods Training||1 August 2020||30 September 2020|
|Microgravity Space Suit Evaluation (with the National Research Council of Canada)||1 October 2020||15 November 2020|
|Award Announcement for Suborbital Flight Opportunity||15 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.
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.