SwRI Researchers Design Suborbital Space Researcher Training Course

Richard Branson trains at NASTAR, giving a good sense of what scientist researchers will experience.

Boulder researchers design space flight school for scientists
Daily Camera

Dan Durda and Alan Stern — researchers at Boulder’s Southwest Research Institute and high-altitude space flight veterans — are so excited, in fact, that they’ve helped design a two-day intensive space flight training course for other scientists who may benefit from doing their research in a zero-gravity environment.

The course, run in conjunction with National AeroSpace Training and Research Center, begins Tuesday in Pennsylvania. Durda and Stern will be there to prepare for the suborbital flights they hope to make in the near future and to share some of their knowledge from participating in NASA’s high-altitude parabolic flights, which provide about a half-minute of weightlessness without actually going into space.

“We’re trying to pay it forward with a few of our colleagues,” Durda said. “If you’re a tourist, you’re going up there to enjoy the experience and to look out the window and just have fun. As a scientist, you’re up there trying to get some work done that probably someone else is paying for.”

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