Astronaut candidate's profile

The candidates participating in the astronaut selection process all have unique journeys and outstanding qualities and skills. You can read their remarkable profiles here.

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Binsted, Kim

Kim Binsted

Where were you born?
Newton, New Jersey, USA

Where do you currently live?
Kaneohe, Hawaii, USA

Education

  • Bachelor's, physics – McGill University
  • Master's, planetary geology – University of Hawaii
  • Ph.D., artificial intelligence – University of Edinburgh

Photo of the astronaut candidate during the aptitude tests. (Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

What is your current job?

Professor, Information and Computer Sciences Department, University of Hawaii / Principal investigator, HI-SEAS Project - I teach courses on artificial intelligence and design for mobile devices (e.g. cell phones). I'm also the principal investigator on the HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, hi-seas.org) project. HI-SEAS is a small habitat in a Mars-like environment on the slopes of Mauna Loa, a giant volcano on the Island of Hawaii. There, we conduct long missions (so far, up to 12 months), simulating expeditions on the surface of Mars. We're helping remove barriers to long-duration space exploration by practicing here on Earth.

Why do you want to become an astronaut?

I want to make Earth my home. Home is the place you return to. When you're a kid, your house is your home. It's only when you head off to college or work that you talk about your "home town." When you travel abroad, your country becomes your home country. I want to make Earth my home—and I want to help others see it that way, too. When we shift from seeing the Earth as "the world" to seeing it as our home planet, perhaps we will understand how precious it is, even as we journey farther away.

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