AdvancingX and United Kingdom Analogue Mission (UKAM), have signed a collaborative agreement that gives more than 2.3 million UK students and graduates access to join the Career Astronaut Competition and the AdvancingX STEM Education program aimed at preparing students for careers in space. The Career Astronaut competition offers STEM and art focused individuals from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to experience space training, potential space travel and opportunities for space related careers.
UKAM is focused on supporting students to develop “practical skills through analogue missions that will lay a foundation for their future space careers. “Analogue” space projects simulate what future missions to the Moon or Mars may be like here on Earth, allowing a greater understanding of the environmental, technological, and operational challenges that future astronauts may face on other planets and celestial bodies. UKAM will serve as a testbed for technological demonstration and research and will aim to assemble a wide audience of students, universities, and businesses with this vision. This project aims to allow more individuals into the space industry through the UK, and to inspire the UK public in human spaceflight. Analogue missions provide a low-cost, low-risk opportunity to test technology and procedures for future space missions; providing future space leaders a gateway to the space industry, and inspiring the British, and international public. UKAM aims to conduct a proof of concept analogue mission in the fall of 2020 with a team comprised of professionals and students. The mission will be a two-week simulated mission in Scotland with a crew of four individuals, who will undertake various scientific experiments whilst under the replicated strain of a lunar environment. Through collaborations with both national and international partners, UKAM will facilitate the design and construction of a habitat that will house the analogue astronauts, and have a mission control centre that will provide communications and support from afar. UKAM will collaborate with AdvancingX to facilitate the use of this habitat for the Career Astronaut competition.
In the competition, Career Astronaut Candidates are assigned to teams using high performance team algorithms and predictive analytics developed by AdvancingX with advanced machine learning software developed by BMC. As candidates move forward through the competition they will be faced with several carefully designed challenges to help identify and measure team cognitive functional characteristics capable of taking on extreme environment circumstances like those found in space. These team oriented challenges make it possible to measure characteristics that contribute to team communication, resilience, and performance. Some of the challenges include social engagements, survival, and simulated zero gravity tasks.
For students preparing to enter the Career Astronaut Competition at a later date, AdvancingX is launching a STEM Education curriculum. The STEM curriculum is integrated with K-12 and university students.The program is designed to stimulate international and cross-cultural innovation, teaching students to use collaborative intelligence to solve problems, develop technologies, improve current practices, and generate new avenues geared at economic and social progress. Students will have the opportunity to learn and grow in an environment that embraces their talents and interests while also challenging them to improve and refine areas of creativity by learning from one another. The program also emphasizes the importance of philanthropy, challenging students to share their experiences, inventions, and discoveries with their greater community. Overall, the program will increase students’ perspectives, leading to large-scale impact on not only the space community, but our world as a whole.