Aspiring Astronauts to Train at UArizona

The Center for Human Space Exploration at the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2 is launching its first astronaut training program with private aerospace company Uplift Aerospace. The training will run Nov. 18 to 20. 

Founded this year, the Center for Human Space Exploration, or CHaSE, is a research and development facility focused on furthering the sustainable presence of humans in the solar system and beyond. Its mission is to foster the global space community through accessible and experiential training opportunities. With access to world-class facilities, CHaSE offers training and post-training resources to anyone interested, including students, professionals and members of the public.

The first class to go through the CHaSE program includes commercial astronaut candidate Ruben Salinas, who was selected by Uplift Aerospace to participate in an upcoming  spaceflight. He will be joined in the training program by four other commercial astronaut trainees selected by Uplift Aerospace to participate in Space+, a private space program launched earlier this year. 

The training classes will be taught by CHaSE’s founding director Trent Tresch; astronaut Sian “Leo” Procter, who piloted SpaceX’s Inspiration4 all-civilian orbital mission to space; and Mira Milas, executive director of UArizona’s APEX aerospace medicine fellowship. Co-founding director of CHaSE Kai Staats, who is also the research director of the Biosphere 2 Space Analog for the Moon and Mars, will help facilitate. 

“CHaSE seeks to bridge the gap between traditional and new age aerospace,” Treschsaid. “To create humanity’s future in space we need people with all skillsets. The astronaut training program will be open to people of all backgrounds, including students, engineers, scientists, artists, welders and plumbers, for example. This is just the beginning.”

The class will complete a series of lectures and exercises at Biosphere 2 and on the university campus and provide feedback to Tresch and Staats on the curriculum.

The Space+ trainees will be joined in the UArizona training program by three ambassadors from the nonprofit AstroAccess, which has a mission to advance disability inclusion in space, and by humanoid robot Bina48 from Terasem Movement Foundation. The robot’s participation in the program will help investigate the applications of machine intelligence for future human-crewed space missions.

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