Former Astronaut, Professor Durrance Joins Commercial Spaceflight Federations Suborbital Researchers Group

MELBOURNE, FLA.—Florida Institute of Technology Professor of Physics and Space Sciences Sam Durrance has been selected to join the Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s Suborbital Applications Researchers Group (SARG).

“We are very happy to have Sam aboard SARG to contribute his expertise as a two-time NASA payload specialist on the Space Shuttle,” said S. Alan Stern, chairman of SARG, a space scientist and previous head of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA headquarters.

With Durrance, SARG consists of 11 researchers and educators whose aim is to increase awareness of commercial suborbital spacecraft in the science and R&D communities, work with policymakers to ensure that payloads can easily access these vehicles and further develop ideas for the uses of vehicles currently under development by commercial enterprises.

Before becoming a Florida Tech professor in 2004, Durrance was executive director of the Florida Space Research Institute and director of the Florida Space Grant Consortium.

His career as an astronaut payload specialist, from 1984 to 1996, was preceded by work as a research scientist at Johns Hopkins University, which he continued through 1996. He earned a doctoral degree from the University of Colorado in astro-geophysics.

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