Astronautics Institute Partners with NAUI for Commercial Space Suit Testing


NAUI to be SCUBA Certification Partner for the International Institute of Astronautical Sciences’ Space Suit Test Laboratory at Survival Systems USA in Groton, CT.


BOULDER, Colorado – Today the International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (IIAS) announced that it had finalized a partnership with the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) to designate NAUI as its SCUBA certification partner. The partnership establishes the IIAS Post-Landing Egress Laboratory and Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL), jointly developed between IIAS and Survival Systems USA (SSUSA) in Groton, CT as a Certified NAUI research facility.

Since 2016, IIAS has evaluated space suit technologies developed by Final Frontier Design (FFD) of Brooklyn, NY in a variety of analog environments through its citizen-science non-profit, Project PoSSUM. Post-landing Intra-Vehicular Activity (IVA) space suit evaluations have been held at SSUSA using a full-scale fiberglass mockup of NASA’s Orion spacecraft and a parachute-drop apparatus to simulate various ejection and parachute entry training procedures into water. Last October, FFD’s Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) space suit was first evaluated by IIAS in lunar and simulated zero-G conditions using its gravity-offset laboratory at the Canadian Space Agency in Montreal, Quebec. The next phase of these EVA space suit evaluations is scheduled for April 2021 and will be in underwater analog conditions at SSUSA.

“Like us, NAUI is a research and education non-profit. Further, NAUI certifies all of NASA’s underwater operations, and this is experience that makes them an ideal partner”, said IIAS Executive Director Dr. Jason Reimuller.

Initially, four IIAS courses developed by former NASA human space flight engineers will be validated by NAUI: Spacecraft Egress and Rescue Operations, Post-landing Space Suit Evaluation, Fundamentals of Underwater EVA Operations, and Underwater EVA Space Suit Evaluation. The NBL facility will simulate the Quest airlock on the International Space Station and provide an underwater laboratory to test and evaluate EVA space suit technologies and procedures.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with IIAS and expand it to encompass NAUI. The ongoing research and development initiatives have allowed us to push forward the boundaries of the current equipment, technology and training methodologies in ways that would have been unthinkable just five years ago”, said Maria Hanna, President of SSUSA.

The initial group of NAUI-Certified IIAS SCUBA Instructors responsible for the facility will include John Caskey, Stephen Daire, Maria Hanna, Matt Harasymczuk, Chris Lundeen, Dr. Jason Reimuller, Joey Searcy, and Dr. Erik Seedhouse.

IIAS will train the upcoming space suit test teams under Project PoSSUM. An acronym for Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere, PoSSUM is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and education organization with members from 46 different countries that conducts upper-atmospheric and space technology research and communicates the science through various educational outreach programs available to students and professionals. New PoSSUM scientist-astronaut candidates are trained in classes scheduled two times per year at Florida Tech in Melbourne, FL. Interested individuals may apply online at


Dr. Jason Reimuller, Executive Director, Project PoSSUM Inc.; Office: (720) 352-3227;
Maria Hanna, President, Survival Systems USA; Office: (860) 405-0002;



With students from over 45 different countries, the International Institute of Astronautical Sciences (IIAS) is the premier research and education institute specializing in fields of research enabled by human space flight. Based in Boulder, Colo., IIAS maintains two citizen-science research programs, Project PoSSUM and Project OTTER, and six tiers of academic specialization including aeronomy, bioastronautics (EVA and IVA space suit test and evaluation), science education, space flight operations, and flight test engineering. To learn more about IIAS or to apply, visit



Project PoSSUM, a 501(c)(3) non-profit suborbital research and education organization, is devoted to the study of the upper atmosphere and the role it plays in the understanding of the global climate. The PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Candidate Program and Advanced PoSSUM Academy are held at Florida Tech in Melbourne, Fla. PoSSUM Instrumentation is funded by NASA as part of the ‘PMC-Turbo’ experiment. The PoSSUM Noctilucent Cloud Tomography Experiment is supported by NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program as the ‘Noctilucent Cloud Imagery and Tomography Experiment,’ granted in March 2012 and PoSSUM students train to fly this suborbital mission while preparing for aeronomy, bioastronautics and educational outreach missions. For more information, visit us at or follow us on Facebook at



Survival Systems USA based in Groton, CT is a world leader in underwater egress and water survival training. With more than three decades of research and innovation, Survival Systems is uniquely positioned to safely and consistently provide aircraft specific training solutions combined with full environmental training scenarios for all aviation and space industry professionals. Additional programs available at the facility include ENSA-led certified GWO programs for the wind industry. To learn more about Survival Systems USA, visit


Established in 1960, the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI Worldwide) is one of the largest non-profit dive training and certifying organizations in the world, offering recreational and technical scuba diving and freediving training programs of the highest caliber.

As one of the most trusted dive training providers, NAUI’s role as an industry leader has defined diving. Whether in the establishment of scuba instructional standards, equipment development, advancements in diving research or dive training innovations, NAUI leaders have paved the way for scuba divers around the world.

“Astronautics Institute has a very unique program; utilizing NAUI’s fundamental principles of Academic Freedom will allow them to develop and teach their highly skilled Instructor Specialized Program. NAUI has a long history of supporting specialized applications of diving; FDNY, NASA Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, West Point Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy & Disney’s Epcot Center just to name a few.” commented Angelo Fiore, NAUI Sales Director for North America.

NAUI’s Association continues to grow as they promote “Dive Safety Through Education”, the same motto established in 1960 as the guiding principle of NAUI’s mission. NAUI members are known and respected all across the industry for the quality of their teaching, concern for the individual student, and safety awareness. For more information visit

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