Uplift Aerospace, Astro Access complete first class at the Center for Human Space Exploration (CHaSE) at Biosphere 2

Uplift Aerospace’s Space+5 team has completed the inaugural spaceflight training program at the Center for Human Space Exploration (CHaSE), University of Arizona Biosphere 2 alongside three ambassadors from AstroAccess, and the humanoid robot Bina48 from Terasem Movement Foundation. The mission for this historic training program is to increase access, diversity, and inclusion in human space exploration.

The Space+5 is a five person spaceflight training class within Uplift Aerospace’s new community-led space program that embraces blockchain technology as a means to advance access to space with activations and research focused on key mission pillars: Art, Science, and Philanthropy. The Space+5 class is composed of Ruben Salinas who has been contracted by Uplift Aerospace for an upcoming suborbital space flight, Sydney Hamilton, Mike Mongo, Trent Tresch, and Joan Melendez-Misner.

The November 17-20 curriculum and training at Biosphere 2 and the University of Arizona recreation center was in collaboration with AstroAccess to develop ongoing programs and resources for future astronauts with disabilities. The training program was taught by Space+5 astronaut candidate and CHaSE founding Director Trent Tresch, Space+5 astronaut ambassador and mentor, Dr. Sian Proctor, executive director of the University of Arizona’s APEX aerospace medicine fellowship Dr. Mira Milas, with assistance and support by CHaSE co-founder Kai Staats, UA PhD student Atila Meszaros, and Paragon SDC aerospace engineer Baily Burns, and Mason Robbins of the Saxavord Space Port, Scotland.

The AstroAccess ambassadors are Sheila Xu, Eric Shear, and Mary Kate Cooper. Sheila Xu is currently pursuing dual MPP and MBA degrees at Harvard University and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She is the first Deaf Asian female pilot and has interned at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Eric Shear is a graduate student at the University of Florida, where he is studying chemical engineering with the goal of working in the space industry on life support and in-situ resource utilization. Eric flew as part of the Deaf Crew on MAA1. Mary Cooper is a student pursuing a Masters of Science in Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering at Stanford University, where she recently graduated with an undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering & Computer Science. Mary is a champion athlete and a below-the-knee amputee. Mary worked at SpaceX on the spaceflight training team to help prepare Polaris Dawn, NASA Crew-5 and Crew-6 for spaceflight.

The spaceflight training program included participation by humanoid robot Bina48 who was present for rount-table conversations and was represented in an emergency water egress training session at the UA pool.