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A startup from Colorado is building an astronaut training center where citizens can have the chance to prepare their technology and themselves, to go to space.
The Challenge for Public Astronaut Training
Thanks to recent advancements such as reusable rockets, the cost of going to space has dramatically dropped. This creates new opportunities for off-world research, manufacturing, and tourism.
As of now, there is not a place where private astronauts can fully prepare for spaceflight. However, they are allowed to go to the NASTAR Center for centrifuge training, although they will have to book a flight with Zero-G if a person wants to experience weightlessness before taking a trip up to space.
Many companies and scientists are looking to send satellites, experiments, and space factories into orbit temporarily lack testing the tech. This means they can use the money for a launch only to find out the equipment might not work in the brutal space environment.
Star Harbor Academy
Former aerospace engineer and Astrophysicist Maraia Tanner has founded Star Harbor, a startup planning to build a 53-acre site for space R&D and astronaut training in Colorado.
The Star Harbor’s center will be open to customers and the public, and it will have a space-themed hotel, event venues, office spaces, and more. The main attraction will be the $120 million Star Harbor Academy.
“Star Harbor will have high-gravity centrifuge, microgravity flights, land-based and underwater habitats, neutral buoyancy facility, hypobaric and hyperbaric chambers, human performance center and simulation labs, ” according to the company’s press statement.
In addition to having private astronaut training, the Academy will work with scientists to develop their space technology at their campus. It might even take payment in equity, giving it an incubator role.
Moving Forward with Astronaut Training
They have not said if Star Harbor has raised the needed money to build their campus. Although, in that same press statement announcing the development, they also announced that they are launching a Series B fundraising round that ends in July of 2022.
Star Harbor already has bought the land for the complex. In addition, it is an impressive team that includes retired NASA astronaut Ronald Garan Jr. and private astronaut Sian Proctor can help it earn the confidence and respect of future investors.
They expect to start operations at its campus beginning in 2026, and they say it has already established agreements and partnerships with more than 30 schools, companies, and government bodies.