Opifex Global, a provider of aerospace training facilities and Camden County, Georgia have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore commercial astronaut training facilities near the proposed Spaceport Camden.
Advised by three former NASA astronauts, Opifex Global utilizes the same quality curriculum, simulators, and training devices that people have come to expect from the space program and adapted them to train commercial astronauts.
Former Navy explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) diver, Barton Bollfrass founded Opifex Global with the mission of providing labor services for the commercial space industry. The curriculum couples classroom education with real world, hands-on experiences in simulators such as vacuum chambers, zero gravity flights, and gyro-seat spinners to recreate the environment in orbit. The centerpiece of the training facility is a three story, neutral-buoyancy tank with blacked-out surfaces that allows trainees to practice repairing subsystems while wearing a pressurized spacesuit, underwater, in the dark.
“Spaceport Camden is an excellent location for our training facility which will provide off-world training solutions for private industry, military, academia, and the general public,” said Bollfrass.
“Private Spaceflight training was one of the targeted industries identified by Astralytical in the Mission Possible report released in November of 2017,” said County Administrator and Spaceport Project lead, Steve Howard. “We are just seeing the beginning of the demand for the innovation and research park that will accompany Spaceport Camden,” added Howard.
County officials, executives from Opifex Global and the real estate development team at Organic Code Development LLC look forward to working together to make commercial astronaut training a reality in Camden County.