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Citizen-Science Astronautics Program to Explore Intersections of Art and Science

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
March 18, 2016
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PoSSUM students learn to operate space-qualified instrumentation in spacesuits. (Credit: Project PoSSUM)

PoSSUM students learn to operate space-qualified instrumentation in spacesuits. (Credit: Project PoSSUM)

BOULDER, Colo. , March 14, 2016  (Project PoSSUM PR) — Project PoSSUM announced today that it will host an interdisciplinary forum, titled “Project PoSSUM and the Art of Science Communication”, at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University on April 9, 2016. The first of a series of workshops, this forum will focus on how astronautics enables science communication through human stories and artistic interpretation.
“Noctilucent clouds are the focus of PoSSUM’s suborbital research. These clouds exhibit beautiful and alluring visual displays, yet their structures also hold critical information on how our global environment is changing,” said PoSSUM Executive Director Dr. Jason Reimuller. “The data to be collected on PoSSUM missions will inspire both the artist and the atmospheric scientist alike.”

The forum will consist of artist and retired astronaut Nicole Stott, astronaut Don Pettit, Project PoSSUM Executive Director Jason Reimuller, artist and explorer Sarah Jane Pell, and neuroscientist and SciArt Exchange Executive Director Jancy McPhee.

PoSSUM, an acronym for Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and education organization that uses citizen-science astronautics to enable novel measurements of our upper atmosphere while communicating the critical role this region plays to the understanding of our global climate through immersive educational programs.

“Really wonderful things come through the integration of art and science,” said artist and retired NASA Astronaut Nicole Stott. “I look forward to our PoSSUM program panel session ‘The Art of Science Communication’ and the exploration and discussion of this SciArt topic.”

The forum will coincide with PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Class 1601, which will bring together candidates from Australia, Egypt, Germany, Canada, Portugal, and the US to Embry-Riddle to study noctilucent cloud science and learn how to operate PoSSUM instrumentation on simulated suborbital spaceflight through a one-week program spanning 8-14 April, 2016. The forum emphasizes the PoSSUM mission, itself an intersection of art and science; since imaging noctilucent cloud structures is as much of an art as a science, the measurements PoSSUM candidates will make can only be made by a trained human operator since the features of interest are simply not visible from the ground or from orbit. Interested individuals may apply online at

The event is free and open to the public.

One response to “Citizen-Science Astronautics Program to Explore Intersections of Art and Science”

  1. Nikolay Moiseev says:

    I am going to participate

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