Florida Tech, Astronautics Institute Partner for Education and Research

MELBOURNE, FLA. — The International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (IIAS) recently inducted 75 new members through its introductory Fundamentals of Astronautics course hosted for the first time at Florida Tech’s Center for Aeronautics and Innovation.

The inductees included Brian Murphy, a planetary sciences major at Florida Tech who was named the 2021 Out Astronaut. He graduated with honors on May 7. Sponsored by IIAS, the Out Astronaut Project addresses the under-representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people in science and space.

A Memorandum of Understanding between Florida Tech and IIAS signed in January 2021 provides for classroom and lab space at the university’s aeronautics center on NASA Boulevard and deepens the connections between the entities.

“Given our shared focus on education and research, the Florida Tech and IIAS partnership will elevate both organizations and supercharge efforts to educate future generations of space industry leaders,” said Acting President Marco Carvalho. “We look forward to working with IIAS to ensure that student participants receive an unforgettable and impactful experience.”

Following this new partnership, the new students were the first to experience IIAS’s enhanced space flight simulation capabilities, new aircraft, new space suits and receptions that were hosted by astronaut Winston Scott, a professor emeritus at Florida Tech.

“We are very excited to have completed our first in-person courses at Florida Tech, especially considering the duration that we have only been able to provide our new selectees with distance education services,” said IIAS Executive Director Jason Reimuller, Ph.D. “Florida Tech is a very respected aerospace university that is well-aligned with our long-term vision and collaborative research ambitions.”

With students from over 50 different countries, IIAS provides education in the space environment, bioastronautics, microgravity science, and human factors through research that is focused on advancing human space flight.

The recent inductees will now be able to enroll in a variety of IIAS research campaigns from August until November 2022. IIAS will be holding its next Fundamentals of Astronautics course at Florida Tech Aug. 28 – Sept. 14. Interested individuals may apply at astronauticsinstitute.org.

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