Educational Programs


Complete AST 101 (Fundamentals of Astronautics) to enroll in IIAS Professional Certification Programs

AST 101 ‘Fundamentals of Astrodynamics’ introduces the student to scientific human spaceflight as a systemic problem. Specifically, AST 101 introduces the student to the design and training aspects integral to noctilucent cloud tomography on suborbital commercial space vehicles in support of Project PoSSUM.  AST 101 also serves as a prerequisite to many other courses offered through the IIAS by introducing key training elements and is a prerequisite for enrollment into all citizen-science courses administered by the IIAS including AER 103, BIO 103, BIO 104, EVA 103, EVA 104, and OPS 104. IIAS credit will be granted for AST 101 for completing either of the two programs administered in partnership with Project PoSSUM, including the PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Qualification Program or the Advanced PoSSUM Academy.


Enroll in a Professional Certificate Program

If you are interested in a specific specialization, IIAS offers a unique opportunity to receive professional certificates in specialized research areas including aeronomy, bioastronautics including concentrations in IVA and EVA space suit evaluation, science education, and space flight operations. Each credential consists of 16 credits of instruction which are administered through distance education and combined with several weeks of on-site intensive research activities.

Aeronomy Concentration

The PoSSUM Aeronomy Program provides a practical education for the professional interested in upper-atmospheric research from research aircraft, high-altitude balloons, and suborbital spacecraft. Learn to study noctilucent clouds from research aircraft, design space instrumentation and continue your initial PoSSUM training with mission specific training for suborbital tomography missions. Courses include AER 101 (Suborbital Space Environment), AER 102 (Remote Sensing and Mesospheric Modeling), AER 103 (Airborne Remote Sensing of Noctilucent Clouds), and AER 104 (Aeronomy Thesis)

Bioastronautics: IVA Space Suit Evaluation

The PoSSUM Bioastronautics Program provides a broad, practical education geared to the professional interested in a career in commercial astronautics while qualifying one for PoSSUM suborbital spacesuit evaluation missions using Final Frontier IVA spacesuits. Learn to test spacesuits in microgravity environments, high-G environments, and landing and post-landing environments. Courses in the PoSSUM Bioastronautics Program include BIO 101 (Space Flight Physiology), BIO 103 (Microgravity Space Suit Evaluation), and BIO 104 (Post-Landing Space Suit Evaluation).

Bioastronautics: EVA Space Suit Evaluation

The OTTER Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) Space Suit Evaluation concentration procedures in analog micro-gravity, lunar, and Martian environments. Courses offered include: EVA 101 (Life Support Systems), EVA 102 (Operational Space Medicine), EVA 103 (Planetary Field Geology and EVA Tool Development), and EVA 104 (Gravity-Offset EVA Space Sit Evaluation). Underwater analog EVA courses are in planning.

Space Flight Operations Concentration

The OTTER Space Flight Operations Program involves the study of ergonomics, biometrics, and human factors in the design of vehicles for human space flight. Methods of training, Crew Resource Management (CRM) and communication are evaluated. Courses in the OTTER Space Flight Operations program include: EDU 101 (System Engineering for Human Space Missions), OPS 102 (Spacecraft Egress and Rescue Operations), OPS 103 (Operational Space Medicine), and OPS 104 (Astrodynamics and Mission Simulation).

Science Education Concentration

IIAS Science Educators have exclusive opportunities to teach science to advanced high-school and undergraduate students in their local communities. Courses offered include: EDU 101 (Citizen-Science Research Methods), EDU 102 (Fundamentals of Science Communication), EDU 103 (IIAS Instructor Qualification Program), and EDU 104 (IIAS Leadership Development Program).


Earn the Professional Certification in Applied Astronautics

The only program of its type in the world, the Professional Credential in Applied Astronautics is awarded by the International Institute for Astronautical Sciences to students interested in a career in astronautics and related sciences. It is a 30-credit immersive professional education program currently under accreditation process enabling publishable, peer-reviewed scientific research in the fields of aeronomy, bioastronautics, mission design, space flight operations, and science education.

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