We love it when women show their strength and unstoppable nature on Earth, but in space too?! Get it, girl! When we heard that bioastronautics researcher and science communicator, Kellie Gerardi, had just signed a contract to go into space with Virgin Galactic, the sense of girl power was overwhelming.
Kellie is a researcher for the International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (IIAS) and is now set to go on a dedicated research flight. During this time, she'll be conducting experiments, testing new healthcare technologies, oh, and enjoying the view!
“To call this my life’s dream would be an understatement"
The scientific research benefits and applications that Virgin Galactic’s Spaceflight System can offer will let Kellie demonstrate and advance the research and knowledge gained from a number of her previous reduced gravity flight campaigns performed here on Earth.
These human flights, that Virgin Galactic is now making possible, are going to be huge for the future of spaceflight research. They have managed to float past so many barriers, by offering repeatability, affordability and quality of the weightless environment.
The research experiments Kellie will be conducting on this flight will include bio-monitoring instrumentation, such as the Astroskin Bio-Monitor wearable sensors system. Developed by the Canadian company Carré Technologies Inc. (Hexoskin), with the support of the Canadian Space Agency, it's designed to measure the biological effects of launch, weightlessness, re-entry, and landing on spaceflight participants.
A second piece of research includes a free-floating fluid configuration experiment. This data will be used to help give information about new technologies, like fluid-based accelerometer systems, humidifiers for spacecraft life support systems, and new syringe designs for giving medicine in space. Exciting stuff.
Kellie Gerardi has said:
“To call this my life’s dream would be an understatement. I’ve been a champion of Virgin Galactic’s mission to democratize access to space from the earliest days, both during my time working a few test stands away at the Mojave Air & Space Port and through my years helping advance the regulatory framework for commercial human spaceflight with the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. The opportunity to fly as a payload specialist on a Virgin Galactic spaceflight brings everything full circle for me, and it’s nothing short of an honor to have a front-row seat to the final frontier. I’m grateful to IIAS for the support and confidence they continue to place in me, and I look forward to helping pave the path for many talented researchers who are sure to follow.”
We're so excited for Kellie as she undertakes her dream mission. It'll be an honour for us all to witness this great moment for the history books. We can't wait to watch her do what she does best in space and pave the way for researchers of the future.
Could you be in Kellie Gerardi's position in the future? You know for yourselves that the sky isn't even the limit anymore. Dream big, work hard and make a difference.