For Hub City Times
HOUSTON — Marshfield native Linda Roehrborn has been named to SeaSpace Exploration & Research Society Inc.’s inaugural class of candidates for its citizen scientist-astronaut research and training program, the PHEnOM Project. PHEnOM — an acronym for Physiological, Health, and Environmental Observations in Microgravity — is one of the world’s first commercial human spaceflight research programs, training and utilizing citizen scientist-astronauts and mission support specialists to carry out mission objectives.
The PHEnOM Project aims to serve as a leading catalyst for opening the commercial spaceflight industry by engaging in innovative, ground-breaking research in the areas of health and human performance, pharmacology, materials science, engineering, countermeasures, and atmospheric and physical sciences through the use of citizen scientists. The proposed research will be conducted in collaboration with academic, governmental, commercial, and private industry partners.
Citizen scientist-astronaut candidates participate in a comprehensive training program that combines coursework with mission- and spaceflight-specific skills training.
This first class of 14 candidates, including Roehrborn, begins its journey this April and will graduate in February 2018. As the commercial spaceflight industry continues to gain momentum, opportunities for trained scientist-astronaut candidates will grow, and Roehrborn and colleagues plan to be ready when that time comes.
Roehrborn, daughter of local strawberry farmers Ervin and Rae Roehrborn, has held firmly to her dream of becoming an astronaut since childhood, a dream that she pursued relentlessly through years of education and relevant work experience.
A member of the Air Force for 24 years, Capt. Roehrborn deployed overseas for Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn, where she served as exercise director and developed crew procedures for 12 flight combat exercises to sustain training for more than 5,000 military members. As an air battle manager, she was certified as an unmanned aerial vehicle flight controller, assisting in the safe separation of UAVs, military, and civilian aircraft.
In 2015 Linda participated in a NASA two-week isolation human exploration research analog mission. She served as mission specialist I and endured rigorous conditions during small-team dynamics, including sensory and sleep deprivation, communication delay, and separation from home due to extended deep space flight. She assisted in developing resolutions to problems unique to deep space flight and tested near-future space technologies for NASA to be utilized on the International Space Station.
Linda holds a certificate in sustainable management, an Associate of Science degree in electronics system technology, a Bachelor of Science in biology, and a Master of Science in oceanography and is currently completing a graduate certificate in online e-learning and teaching.
Her favorite memories in life are of being raised by wonderful parents on a 40-acre strawberry farm in central Wisconsin. This is where she fell in love with nature and the night sky and where she visits every moment possible when not working.
Donations to Linda’s training can be made at youcaring.com/linda-roehrborn-510455/update/449765.