Paris, 4 June 2021. – The International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (IIAS) will send its bioastronautics researcher Kellie Gerardi to space on a dedicated research mission with Virgin Galactic, the institute said.
“The contract marks the world’s first industry-sponsored, human-tended research spaceflight on a commercial vehicle”, it said, “and IIAS researcher Kellie Gerardi is the first female payload specialist contracted to fly on a commercial spacecraft”.
With the research spaceflight, IIAS wants to l advance the scientific knowledge gained from a number of Kellie’s previous reduced gravity flight campaigns performed on Earth, including with the National Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
The IIAS experiments to be flown in space include the Astroskin Bio-Monitor wearable sensors system, developed by Canadian company Carré Technologies Inc. (Hexoskin) with the support of the CSA, as well as a free-floating fluid configuration experiment.