Commercial Astronaut Training

Although Brien Posey is best known for his Information Technology related accomplishments, he is also currently training as a Commercial Scientist-Astronaut Candidate. To date, Brien has completed extensive suborbital space flight training through the Association of Spaceflight Professionals (formerly Astronauts for Hire) and Project PoSSUM (the first private, manned suborbital research program). In addition, Brien leads the Association of Spaceflight Professionals' Technology and Engineering group, which has been tasked with developing new technologies that may eventually fly in space.

Project PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Class 1601

Latest News

  •  October 2018: Brien served as Test Director for one of the flights during Project PoSSUM's 2018 parabolic flight campaign.
  •  October 2018: Brien has completed life support systems training.
  •  September 2018: Brien has completed training in citizen science research methods.
  • April 2018: Brien has completed Advanced Spacecraft Egress Training through Project PoSSUM, a course in which Brien practiced post landing procedures on the Orion capsule, in the water, while wearing a spacesuit.
  • May 2018: Brien has completed Spaceflight Physiology, Celestial Navigation for Space Missions, and the Suborbital Space and Atmospheric Environment through Project PoSSUM, as well as Space Mission Design and Operations through (EFPLx) Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne).
  • January 2018: Brien earned an X-Series certificate in astrophysics from Australian National University (ANUx).
  • November 2017: Brien participated in a parabolic flight campaign in conjunction with NASA, Final Frontier Design, and Zero Gravity Corporation.
Association of Spaceflight Professionals Patch
NASTAR Center - Suborbital Space Flight Training
Project PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Candidate
NASTAR Center - Payload Specialist Training / Suborbital Scientist

Spaceflight Training and Education

2018 Microgravity Spacesuit Evaluation

2018 Microgravity Spacesuit Evaluation

2018 Microgravity Spacesuit Evaluation - October, 2018

My role in the 2018 parabolic flight campaign was that of Test Director for one of the flights. I was responsible for overseeing the experiments being performed and for the crew's safety and wellbeing. The experiments being performed included:

  • Intravehicular Activity Space Suit Evaluation in Reduced Gravity - Final Frontier Designs
    • Measure biometrics (test sensor performance)
    • Test suit sizing, comfort, pressurization to +3.5 psi
    • Test air ventilation system (temp, RH, CO2 washout)
  • Evaluation of Noise Generated by "Bio Monitor" During Exercise in Reduced Gravity - Canadian Space Agency
    • Measure signal noise generated by "Bio Monitor" during movement in reduced gravity
    • Test specific exercise motions (rowing and deadlift)
    • To support data analysis of David St-Jacques December 2018 ISS mission
  • Fluid Configuration Experiment - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    • Determine the stable equilibrium configuration of confined water in reduced gravity
    • Determine the cause of contact angle hysteresis
    • Measure accelerations with a PocketLabOne
  • Solid Body Rotation Experiment - University of Maryland Eastern Shore
    • Create a payload to impart known, repeatable angular velocities to objects in the reduced gravity environment
    • Measure angular velocities with a PocketLabVoyager
  • Project ESPRESSO 2018
    • Developing and test new techniques for interacting with asteroid-like material in the asteroid-relevant environments of low gravity and vacuum
    • Characterize asteroid material through low-velocity impacts, shearing tests and multiple forms of adhesion or gripping for anchoring and mobility enhancement on the low gravity, airless surfaces of small asteroids
  • HoloLens Spacesuit User Interface Test
    • Evaluate the suitability of using HoloLens in reduced gravity to display a task list and biometric data
  • Hexoskin Microgravity Testing
    • Gather data to the usability and data accuracy of the Hexoskin skin shirt while in microgravity
  • Food in Space
    • A better (“homely”) way to prepare and eat meals in space
    • Capture videos of food items in reduced gravity
    • Capture video of eating a noodles with chopsticks in 0G

 

Life Support Systems

Life Support Systems

Life Support Systems - October, 2018

Topics of study include:

  • Human physiology as it relates to spaceflight
  • The ISS life support system and its six subsystems
  • Air and water reclamation and the requirements for a closed loop system
  • Physico-chemical life support systems
  • Bioregenerative life support systems
Citizen Science Research Methods

Citizen Science Research Methods

Citizen Science Research Methods - September, 2018

Space Mission Design and Operations

Space Mission Design and Operations

Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology at Lausanne) / EDX - May 2018

Topics of Study Include:

  • Orbital Mechanics
  • Orbital Maneuvers, Special Orbits, and Rendezvous
  • Interplanetary Trajectories and Propulsion
  • Spacecraft Systems
  • Human Spaceflight
Spacesuit Post Landing Operations

Spacesuit Post Landing Operational Testing

Project PoSSUM - April 2018

Spacesuit use in nominal and off-nominal post-landing environments.

  • Parachute and ejection seat operations
  • Landing and rescue operations
  • Orion Stable 1 Egress Ops (Unsuited, Side Hatch)
  • Orion Stable 1 Egress Ops (Unsuited, Front Hatch)
  • Orion Stable 1 Egress Ops (Suited Side Hatch, Raft Ingress, Raft Ops (signaling, etc.))
  • Orion Stable 1 Egress Ops (Suited Front Hatch, Raft Ingress, Raft Ops (signaling, etc.))
  • Parachute Suited Ops in Water (Spacesuit Interface, LPUs, Green Apple, Canopy Release, etc.)
Spacesuit Post Landing Operations - Hornet Crew
Project PoSSUM

Spaceflight Physiology

Project PoSSUM - April 2018

Physiological changes and adaptations that occur during each phase of spaceflight: ascent, early orbit, long-term flight, extra vehicular activities, and reentry.

Topics of study include:

  • The development of biophysics and its impact upon early astronaut medical selection criteria
  • Environmental Control / Life Support System: Subsystems, Extra Vehicular Activities, Prebreathe and Decompression Sickness, Toxic Hazards, Trace Contaminants, VOCs, and the SMAC list.
  • Cardiovascular Adaptation in Space
  • The Neuro-Vestibular System
  • Atrophy and the Muscular system
  • The Short Term and Long Term Effects of High Doses of Ionizing Radiation
  • Psychological Considerations in astronaut selection
  • Operational Space Medicine Emergency Rescue Support
  • Space Life Sciences Research
Project PoSSUM

Suborbital Space Environment

Project PoSSUM - April 2018

Fundamentals of aeronomy with an emphasis on the environmental hazards most relevant to the operations of manned spacecraft, including particles and radiation, impact phenomena, spacecraft charging, aerodynamic drag, and oxygen corrosion of surfaces.

Topics of study include:

  • Atmospheric structure and large scale circulations, Concept of scale height and barometric formula
  • Planetary boundary layer, Coriolis force, Synoptic weather systems and fronts, Atmospheric stability and clouds, Impact of weather on spacecraft operations.
  • Stratospheric dynamics, Concepts of potential temperature and potential vorticity, Planetary and gravity waves, Stratospheric ozone chemistry and polar stratospheric clouds
  • Principles of radiative transfer, Atmospheric transmission and absorption, Feedback mechanisms
  • Mesospheric structure and dynamics, Mesospheric composition and chemistry, Gravity waves and tides, Polar mesospheric clouds
  • Thermospheric structure and composition, Energy input – space weather, Ionospheric layers, Airglow and aurora, Environmental effects on spacecraft
  • Exobase and atmospheric escape, Van Allen radiation belts, Solar energetic particles and cosmic rays – space weather, Environmental effects on spacecraft
  • Mars’ atmospheric structure and dynamics, Mars’ atmospheric composition, Dust and condensates and their radiative effects, Entry, descent and landing of spacecraft on Mars
Project PoSSUM

Celestial Navigation for Space Missions

Project PoSSUM - April 2018

Practical instruction in celestial navigation and how it pertains to suborbital and orbital imaging and remote sensing missions.

Topics of study include:

  • Index error, dip and altitude correction for Sun, Moon, Stars and Planet.
  • Calculate time of meridian passage of the Sun for any given Longitude.
  • Calculation of times of Sunrise, Sunset, and Twilight.
  • Observers Latitude by Sun noon or twilight Polaris sights.
  • Solving the Celestial triangle using H.O. 249 tables.
  • Solving the Celestial triangle using S-tables
  • Determining Latitude and Longitude using celestial bodies
  • Plotting of Celestial L.O.P. on a Universal Plotting Sheet using simultaneous sights or running sight methods.
  • Determination of Azimuths and Altitude of navigational bodies at twilight.
  • Calculation of Compass Deviation using Celestial bodies.
  • Computing Great Circle routes.
  • Setting up and using an artificial horizon.
XSeries Certificate in Astrophysics

XSeries Certificate in Astrophysics

Australian National University / EDX - January 2018

The Astrophysics XSeries is issued at the successful completion of four individual courses including:

  • ANU-ASTRO1X: Astrophysics: Greatest Unsolved Mysteries of the Universe
  • ANU-ASTRO2X:Astrophysics: Exploring Exoplanets
  • ANU-ASTRO3X: Astrophysics: The Violent Universe
  • ANU-ASTRO4X: Astrophysics Cosmology

Spacesuit and Simulator Technician Qualification Program

Daytona, Florida - October 2017

  • Qualified to pilot the PoSSUM suborbital spaceflight simulator on noctilucent cloud tomography missions
  • Trained in the safe donning, doffing, and operational procedures for a Final Frontier Design, Intra-vehicular Activity (IVA) spacesuit

Microgravity Spacesuit Evaluation

Ottawa Canada, October 2017

BIO-103 was the third series of microgravity flight testing for the Final Frontier Design IVA spacesuit. Referred to internally as the "visor down test", this was the first parabolic flight campaign in which the spacesuit's visor was closed and the suit was pressurized. Test objectives included:

  • Test the ability of the suited subject to operate the PoSSUM science instruments in microgravity
  • Test the subject's ability to operate flight controls
  • Test the suited subject's ability to accurately pressurize and depressurize the spacesuit to a predetermined pressure.
  • Test the subject's ability to open and close the visor
  • Test the suited subject's ability to release and refasten the five point harness while weightless

My role in this flight campaign was that of suited subject, and I was therefore responsible for performing the various tests while wearing a spacesuit.

Space Medicine and Human Performance

Project PoSSUM / Project OTTER, September 2017

Space Medicine and Human Performance (EVA-101) focused primarily on post landing contingencies following an off-nominal spacecraft landing in a remote area. In addition to learning about  spaceflight physiology and space medicine, the team learned how to triage and treat injuries stemming from an off-nominal landing.

Project OTTER (Orbital Tools and Techniques for Extravehicular Research)

Brien Posey is a member of the inaugural Project OTTER class (EVA-101). Project OTTER is a cooperative effort between Project PoSSUM and Final Frontier Design, with the goal of developing and testing EVA spacesuits. The program will culminate in a series of underwater EVA research missions. The Project OTTER requirements include:

  • Project PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Qualification Program (prerequisite)
  • EVA-101: Space Medicine and Human Performance
  • EVA-102: Life Support and EVA Suit Operations
  • EVA-103: Extraterrestrial Geology and EVA Tool Development
  • EVA-104: Saturation Diving and Analog EVA

Spacecraft Egress, Sea Survival, and Rescue Operations

Integrated Spaceflight Services / Survival Systems USA, April 2017

Spaceflight-Specific Topics of Study:

  • Planning for Nominal and Contingency Landings
  • Nominal Rescue Operations
  • Contingency Rescue Operations for Land Landing Spacecraft
  • International Program-Specific Agreements
  • Global SAR Response Resources supporting Contingency Landings
  • Contingency Rescue Operations for Water Landing Spacecraft
  • Pad Egress Failure Environments, Pad Egress Design and Operations
  • Early De-orbit scenarios
  • Post-Landing Contingencies
  • Egress Systems
  • Egress Procedures and Operations
  • Assessing Probabilities and Effects of Injuries and Deconditioning
  • Assessing the Effects of Deconditioning on Egress Operations
  • Incapacitation through Entrapment
  • Egress and Post-Landing Operations in the Age of Commercial Manned Spaceflight
  • Emergency Post-Landing Survival Kits, Medical Resources

Fundamental Egress and Post-Landing Survivability Skills:

  • Safety and survival equipment utilization and deployment
  • Coping with physiological and psychological stress
  • Introduction of rescue devices and simulated rescues
  • Preparation for emergency landing situations in a spacecraft
  • Evacuation through an emergency exit from a spacecraft
  • Physics and physiology for use of compressed air
  • Preflight inspection, egress considerations, and clearing procedures using an EBD
  • Conducting an emergency egress on breath hold utilizing the Shallow Water Egress Trainer
  • Conducting an emergency egress with an EBD utilizing the Shallow Water Egress Trainer
  • Evacuation and escape training utilizing the Modular Egress Training Simulator (METS) with and without utilizing an EBD

Sea Survival Skills:

  • Safety and survival equipment utilization and deployment
  • Introduction to hypothermia mitigation and sea survival
  • Personal rescue techniques and use of life rafts and signaling devices
  • Characteristics of personal flotation devices and aviation jackets
  • Life raft deployment/entry and simulated emergency scenarios
  • Introduction to individual and group sea surface formations
  • Introduction to search and rescue resources and equipment

Microgravity Flight Test Director

Project PoSSUM Microgravity Spacesuit Evaluation Program
Canadian National Research Council, 2016

Microgravity Subject Assistant

Project PoSSUM Microgravity Spacesuit Evaluation Program
Canadian National Research Council, 2016

PoSSUM Bioastronautics BIO-101

A microgravity flight campaign to evaluate commercial spacesuits in a microgravity environment in conjunction with a prototype spacecraft seat, and various biomedical monitoring systems. The study focused primarily on human factors, the suit / seat interface, the umbilical interface, the suited subject's ability to operate spacecraft controls, and ingress / egress procedures.

Space Mission Sesign and Operations

Introduction to Aerospace Engineering: Astronautics and Human Spaceflight

Massachusetts Institute of Technology / EDX - November 2016

Topics of Study Include:

  • Rocket Science
  • Environmental Control and Life Support Systems
  • Orbital Mechanics
  • Microgravity and Space Physiology
  • Extravehicular Activity
  • System Safety

Suborbital Mission Operations

Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Department of Applied Aviation Sciences
  • Suborbital Mission Operations
 

Advanced Chamber Program / Scenario Based Physiological Training Program

Advanced Chamber Program / Scenario Based Physiological Training Program Southern Aeromedical Institute Scenario based training for Slow Onset Hypoxia in which the pilot is required to operate a flight simulator, and maintain communications with ATC, while flying at altitude in a hypobaric chamber.

Project PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Qualification Program

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, 2016
• The Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere Environment
• Fundamentals of Remote Sensing
• Remote Sensing and Aerospace Cinematography
• Spaceflight Simulation and Operations
• Hypoxia Awareness and Mitigation
• Spacesuit Operations
• High-G Analog and Mitigation Methods
• Introduction to Aerospace Physiology
• Introduction to Life Support Systems
• Fundamentals of Celestial Navigation
• Science Communication and Public Outreach

Project PoSSUM Scientist Astronaut Qualification Class 1601

Conflicts of Interest

The University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine

Conflicts of Interest (COI)

Human Subjects Research

The University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine

Human Subjects Research - Biomedical Basic

Space Payload Specialist Training / Suborbital Scientist

National Aerospace Training and Research Center, 2016
• Space Research Types
• Environmental Considerations
• Payload Safety Considerations
• Vehicle Types and Operating Environments
• Vehicle Payload Interface
• Operational Considerations in Space
• Time/Distraction Management
• Emergency Procedures & Contingency Planning
• Design and Conduct Experiment in Simulated Space Environment
• Simulated Space Flights to Conduct Experiment in PHOENIX Centrifuge

Spacesuit Training and Certification

Final Frontier Designs / Project PoSSUM, 2015-2016
• Protective Equipment & Use
• Altitude Physiology
• Effects of Pressure Change
• Hypoxia & Hyperventilation
• Oxygen & Life Support Systems
• Communications
• Mobility/Maneuverability

Certified Spacesuit Technician

Basic Suborbital Space Training

National Aerospace Training and Research Center, 2015
• Aerospace Environment
• Space Vehicles & Flight
• Motion Environment & Orientation
• Acceleration Forces
• Life Support Systems and Suits
• Space Experience
• Physiological and Psychological Effects
• G Protection, Countermeasures & Skills
• Space Safety and Emergency Procedures
• G Tolerance Flights and Simulated Space Flights

Advanced Suborbital Space Training

National Aerospace Training and Research Center, 2015
• Altitude Physiology
• Spatial Disorientation
• Situational Awareness
• Emergency/Rapid Decompression
• Emergency Procedures & Operations
• Personal Safety & Health
• Aerospace Medicine
• Loss of Control In-flight (LOC-I) Preparation & Flights
• Situational Awareness and Spatial Disorientation Preparation & Flights
• Altitude Chamber Preparation & Flight

Motion Sickness Desensitization

National Aerospace Training and Research Center, 2015
• This program is adapted from the United States Air Force Airsickness Diagnostics and Prevention Training (ADAPT) program.

Altitude Awareness and Hypoxia Training

Academics

  • The physical, physiological and psychological stresses of high-altitude flight
  • The physiological-deficient zone (Operations above 10,000 feet MSL)
  • Recognizing common hypoxia and hyperventilation symptoms
  • Hypoxia and hyperventilation management
  • Recovery from a rapid decompression event
  • Time of Useful Consciousness (TUC)

Altitude Chamber Flights

  • 25,000-foot Hypoxia demonstration flight
  • 18,000 foot night vision demonstration flight
  • Rapid decompression flight

Aviation Survival and Underwater Egress Training

Survival Systems USA, 2015

  • Factors that cause water emergencies
  • Assess ability to escape from aircraft (fixed wing and helicopter)
  • Simulated crashes & survival situations
  • On-Board hazards and emergencies
  • Firefighting in the cabin/cockpit
  • Evacuation and escape
  • Aircraft ditching scenarios & techniques
  • Search and rescue
  • Safety and survival equipment utilization and deployment
  • Effects of hypothermia and hyperthermia, mitigation and survival
  • Survival psychology
  • Personal rescue techniques (signaling, flotation devices, etc.)
  • First aid/medical scenarios
  • Evacuation training through an emergency exit on water

Microgravity Parabolic Flight

Zero Gravity Corporation, 2014

Basic Space Shuttle Systems Orientation

NASA, 2012

Space shuttle systems orientation

Other Training and Qualifications

Flight Training

Passed the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Test (Airplane)  FAA, 2015

  • Student pilot 
  • Aerobatic flight training
  • Altitude chamber training

Adult First Aid / CPR / AED

American Red Cross, Since 2015

SCUBA Certification

NAUI, 1993

PADI, 2018

Hundreds of dives completed

Association of Spaceflight Professionals

Director of the Technology and Engineering Group

Responsible for the development of technologies that may eventually be used on suborbital spaceflights.