Challenger Center Board Member Dr. Alan Stern Co-Organizer of Course January 11, 2010

Alexandria, VA – The National AeroSpace Training and Research (NASTAR(R)) Center’s inaugural Suborbital Scientist-Astronaut Training course begins this week at its facility near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Thirteen researchers hoping to accompany experiments on upcoming commercial space missions are expected to attend the training session.

The comprehensive, two-day course includes classroom-based instruction, an overview of the commercial spaceflight industry, altitude and centrifuge training, and several exercises designed to acquaint and prepare trainees for suborbital human spaceflight.

Challenger Center board member Dr. Alan Stern co-organized this training activity and will be one of the participants. Web journalists and Challenger Center board members Keith Cowing and Miles O’Brien will be providing live coverage over the Internet of the two-day training activity – including streaming video. Links to this coverage will be available at

Speaking to NASTAR, Dr. Stern said: “We are very much looking forward to the NASTAR course, which will be our first dedicated spaceflight familiarization activity. We’re already preparing research experiments for suborbital spaceflight and look forward to soon seeing these experiments scheduled for flight.”

Dr. Stern is frequently featured in Challenger Center’s weekly educational podcasts. For a full list of recent topics, go to

About The NASTAR Center

The National AeroSpace Training and Research Center (NASTAR(R)) Center ( is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Environmental Tectonics Corporation. The NASTAR Center houses a variety of state-of-the-art equipment and professional staff to support the training and research needs of the aerospace community. About Challenger Center

Using space exploration as a theme and simulations as a vehicle, Challenger Center and its international network of 47 Challenger Learning Centers create positive educational experiences that raise students’ expectations of success, fosters a long-term interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and inspires students to pursue studies and careers in these areas. Challenger Center’s network of Challenger Learning Centers across the United States and in Canada, the United Kingdom, and South Korea reach more than 400,000 students each year through simulated space missions and educational programs, and engage over 40,000 educators through missions, teacher workshops and other programs. To learn more about Challenger Center for Space Science Education, visit

Rob Cork, Director of Communications, 703-535-1361
Challenger Center for Space Science Education
300 N. Lee Street, Suite 301,
Alexandria, VA 22314