Finnish company raising funds for astronaut training competition

This story was up to date Feb. 3 to replicate new fundraising figures.

SAN FRANCISCO — Cohu Expertise, a Finnish startup aimed toward encouraging public participation within the burgeoning industrial house trade, has raised greater than 2.2 million Euros in a crowdfunding marketing campaign launched Feb. 2 for the House Nation Astronaut Coaching Program, together with a million Euros pledged within the first 43 minutes for the smartphones utility for citizen astronauts.

Previous to the crowdfunding marketing campaign, the group raised 1.7 million Euros from buyers in Finland, Estonia, Germany and the US, mentioned Kalle Vähä-Jaakkola, Cohu Expertise co-founder and chief govt.

As an alternative of spending years incomes superior levels in science or engineering, individuals who obtain the House Nation Astronaut Program app that Cohu Expertise plans to roll out this fall can check their talent with a wide range of psychological, social and bodily challenges. The highest 100 opponents, along with 30 folks chosen by company companions and sponsors, will probably be invited to a two-week astronaut coaching boot camp in early 2018.

The boot camp is designed to whittle down the sector from 130 folks to 12, who then qualify for 12 weeks of intensive astronaut coaching. On the finish of that coaching, one citizen astronaut will win a industrial suborbital flight in 2018. In later years, the corporate plans to pick out a number of astronauts and to ship them to low Earth orbit and past, Vähä-Jaakkola mentioned.

“We wish it to be inclusive so anybody on the earth could be a half. We wish to discover these Slumdog astronauts,” Vähä-Jaakkola mentioned, referring to the 2008 British movie Slumdog Millionaire during which an Indian orphan competes for $1 million.

If House Nation sounds prefer it’s made for actuality tv, it’s. “We’re going to movie it and distribute by means of cellular web sites, social media and tv,” mentioned Vähä-Jaakkola.

The brainchild of Vähä-Jaakkola, Cohu Expertise co-founder and chief govt, and Mazdak Nassir, the agency’s chief artistic officer and co-founder, House Nation is backed by a number of corporations. They embody Axiom House, the Houston-based firm elevating cash to construct a personal house station; Fringe of House, a startup primarily based in Houston and Denver aimed toward connecting colleges and companies with reasonably priced launch alternatives; and Enjoyable Academy, a Finnish training firm.

Cohu Expertise has not introduced the situation of the House Nation Astronaut Expertise boot camp. One chance is Houston since Axiom House is accountable for the undertaking’s astronaut coaching and flight alternatives. Axiom’s chairman, Kam Ghaffarian, can also be president and chief govt of Stinger Ghaffarian Applied sciences, the corporate that trains NASA astronauts beneath a nine-year contract awarded in 2014.

In a bid to lift six million euros, Cohu Expertise is funding on the crowdfunding web site www.round.fi. If it reaches that concentrate on, the Finnish Innovation Fund will present one other three million euros, Vähä-Jaakkola mentioned.

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