Photo @FlorenciaViadana, 2018.
Our mission is to develop the next generation of qualified spaceflight professionals.
How do our members contribute to this body of qualified professionals, and to the next generation of commercial astronauts?
Across sectors, the spaceflight industry has ambitious goals for the coming decade. These goals include the establishment of a long-term human presence in low-Earth orbit alongside a self-sustaining and robust cis-lunar economy. The lunar surface is also planned as a platform for further exploration-class human missions, including to Mars.
To make these milestones in spaceflight possible, commercial and government flight providers will need to draw upon a qualified body of professionals and crew. To meet this demand, ASP focuses on providing solutions for professional development to its members and industry.
ASP is unique because it focuses on interdisciplinary partnerships with universities, spaceflight trainers, space technology corporations, and industry associations. As such, it acts as a central hub for the dissemination of advancements across the spaceflight professional community outside of academic and governmental frameworks. ASP currently does not currently offer its own research and training services, instead providing collaborative opportunity and professional roadmaps with a growing body of training and research partners across the spaceflight industry.
Continue reading to learn more. Downloadable resources are also available in this section.
Technology Development and Research Opportunity
Photo Bethany Downer, 2018.
ASP focuses on the initiation and advancement of technology development aimed at terrestrial and space-based applications. These projects span biomedical, engineering, and physical sciences disciplines. Current technologies under development include
As an industry-oriented non-profit, ASP also acts as a key point of reference for effective academic grant applications, including international partnerships. ASP currently provides in-kind partnership services and funding facilitation for undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral research teams. This allows for a development process that emphasizes iterative tech improvement and skill set development in-parallel.
Further, ASP is a collective forum for partnerships outside of academic and governmental frameworks. As such, it can act as a funding facilitator, where any student can partner with ASP to advance TRLs in partnerships with her/his home university or research institution.
ASP's Space 101 Lecture Series showcases individual member expertise through scientific dialogue and presentations. Members throughout the organization can leverage these subject matter experts to advance their knowledge of some of the latest spaceflight-related research.
This series offers an opportunity to disseminate ongoing research to an international community. Recent topics have included
Space 101 Lecture Series
Professional Forums and
ASP provides a central hub for the dissemination of multidisciplinary advancements across the spaceflight professional community. This professional forum offers unique opportunities for ongoing collaboration with subject matter experts, as well as for direct contribution to dialogue on the state of the industry.
Within this community, our members benefit from insights and roadmaps outside of otherwise siloed organizations.
Medical Guidelines for Commercial Human Spaceflight is one example of this work. Multiple authors contributed to the first draft of an interdisciplinary review for medical guidelines for spaceflight crew and participants.
Ongoing Work: Resources
ASP recognizes that human spaceflight milestones will be made possible through the contributions of a qualified body of professionals. Anticipated demand for human spaceflight services in and beyond low-Earth orbit has already been established, and it is ASP’s charge to connect its membership with enabling development opportunities.
Explore these resources to learn more about ASP’s ongoing work.
The Vision of the Association of Spaceflight Professionals
The Executive Team's whitepaper, Frontiers, was authored to showcase a vision for spaceflight professional development. It focuses on ASP's purpose, obstacles in the advancement of human spaceflight horizons, and descriptions of key sectors in the space industrial ecosystem.
This document offers a dedicated professional development strategy, and describes ongoing developments in funding facilitation, public-private partnerships, education, and technology development.
Frontiers is a look to the human spaceflight horizon.
NASA continues to invest in commercial human spaceflight based on its anticipated demand for LEO. NASA’s strategy is intended to achieve continuous presence in LEO, foster regulations that allow commerce to thrive, research long-duration human spaceflight, and expand commercial opportunity.
The team has developed this infographic to illustrate key demand categories, and how a body of qualified professionals can contribute to this forecasted demand.
ASP continues to develop its member-oriented services and its relationships with national and international partners. These services are based on anticipated demand for quantity and quality of professional talent to make key milestones in human spaceflight possible.
In the development of a fully qualified cohort of spaceflight professionals, ASP recognizes the need for an independent, collectively informed certification body that can leverage iterative research and development. Such a body can focus on the qualification of individuals for respective roles and the associated development of professional roadmaps. This body can also inform relationships across independent trainers, universities, and launch providers, with the goal of a collective refinement of key standards.
ASP continues to develop programs for the integration of degrees and certificates as part of a larger professional ecosystem, founded at the university level and in collaboration with international partners. To support this initiative, ASP is advancing its capacity for directly funding technology development projects for individual members and as a stakeholder with universities and corporations.
This approach to industry-wide professional development recognizes that training is not sufficient to place qualified talent where it is needed most; rather, ASP aims to more directly connect supply with demand, advancing certifications as part of a commonly accepted standard set.
ASP also recognizes that pricing is a crucial consideration for students and professionals. We are developing offerings that can be economical for individual members throughout their development timeline (months and years).
Finally, a building-block approach for standards development can enable mission profiles of increasing complexity, as planned for human spaceflight beyond low-Earth orbit.