First American Woman, Everyday Citizen May Fly Russian Soyuz to The International Space Station as Early as This Fall
Lori Garver, a vice president with DFI International and It's Time LLC, today addressed leading commercial space advocates on the AstroMom Project. At the 18th National Space Symposium, Garver outlined how she is uniquely positioned to become the first American woman, everyday citizen space tourist. In a discussion about the International Space Station (ISS) and scientific research, she offered her flight into space as an opportunity to raise awareness and to increase public interest in the scientific and educational goals of the ISS.
In her remarks, Lori Garver thanked the aerospace industry's opinion leaders and change agents for their support of her AstroMom mission:
"If we want to build the case for further exploration, to promote additional uses of the scientific research infrastructure on the ISS, and to open the space frontier to commercial enterprise we must build the marketplace. That's where you come in. With your backing we can increase public support for the ISS and build enthusiasm for space. This year, DFI International created It's Time to ensure we continue this effort even after AstroMom's safe landing. Just like I was inspired by the first steps of Armstrong and Aldrin on the Moon, I hope this mission, in its own small way, captures the imagination of millions of mothers and their sons and daughters."
Michelle Robbins, President of Women In Aerospace (WIA), today announced her organization's support for Ms. Garver's mission: "We're extremely proud of Lori. WIA believes this unprecedented space flight could open new doors for commercial investment in space, and will help to communicate the importance of discovery, research, and opening of the space frontier. As an active WIA Board Member and a long-time space advocate, Lori is more than just a trailblazer for women in aerospace, she is a trailblazer for all people who ever dreamed of space travel."
Garver has already spent 14 days in Star City, Russia undergoing intense medical testing. She began studying the Russian language two months ago. Over the past few months, she and her team at DFI have refined their business model and continue to meet with potential commercial sponsors, media partners, and advocacy groups. It's Time anticipates the necessary sponsors will be lined up in the near future and Garver may begin her Cosmonaut training as early as this May.
It's Time envisions the AstroMom Project as a demonstration that space is not just the domain of governments and wealthy individuals. By creating a business model that works hand-in-hand with the private sector and the leadership of the Russian and U.S. space programs. It's Time officials believe the opening of space to common citizens can be achieved. Moreover, they expect people around the world to identify with a working mother as her cheering husband and children send her into space and greet her upon her safe return.
"Yes, we believe it's time. The space programs are both ready and supportive. We've created a business model unique in that it leverages the best of both the private sector and government space investment in support of those that dream of space travel. Raising the funds has only been half the challenge; the real key to success is to raise awareness and reinvigorate public interest in space. Lori is the perfect representative of our vision," said Brett Lambert, vice president at DFI and It's Time, LLC.
Lori Garver always dreamed she would be part of the space program, from the day she watched the first Moon landing, but she had no idea that it may mean more than being a full-time commercial space advocate. The former NASA Associate Administrator and, now, DFI International's star Space Program Development leader may become the first woman, everyday citizen space tourist. The wife and mother of two boys plans to take her family to Russia during her six-month Cosmonaut training in Star City.
About DFI International and It's Time
Founded in 1984, DFI International, headquartered in Washington, DC, provides strategic planning, technology feasibility research, and business modeling assistance, as well as merger, acquisition, and strategic alliance support to financial institutions and Fortune 100 aerospace, defense, telecommunications, and information technology companies.
With assistance of the law firm Arnold & Porter, DFI created It's Time, along with an affiliated non-profit educational foundation, to prolong the existence of the AstroMom project and address other opportunities beyond Soyuz flights to the International Space Station. It's Time works with commercial sponsors, media partners, educational institutions, and other advocacy organizations to promote its goals of commercializing space, inspiring students and educators, encouraging scientific discovery and heightening awareness of the space frontier.