Nicholas Skytland is a project manager at NASA within the Human Adaptation and Countermeasures Division of the Space Life Sciences Directorate. His work includes planning future exploration missions, designing the next generation of spacesuits, and developing an open-source computational model to simulate human responses to spaceflight. Skytland has participated on four NEEMO missions as the project manager of the EVA Physiology Systems and Performance Project (EPSP). Skytland will be supporting NEEMO 14 as a co-Principle Investigator (co-PI) of a study to collect data regarding the effects of suit weight and center of gravity on human performance in partial gravity environments. His primary role on NEEMO 14 will be to support the aquanauts on their Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVAs) as a working diver.
Skytland has also worked previously in NASA’s Strategic Partnerships Office and also NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory where he helped train astronauts for spacewalks. In 2004, Skytland worked for the X PRIZE Foundation and was instrumental in the planning and support of the first privately funded, manned space launch of SpaceShipOne in the Mojave Desert. Skytland has also helped coach and train people to experience the excitement of weightlessness through the Zero G Corporation.
Skytland is well known for many of his presentations promoting NASA, the human space program, the use of social media at NASA, participatory exploration, and the Open Government Initiative. He has spoken to numerous audiences, including the Pentagon, the United Nations, Disney Imagineering, and schools around the nation about NASA and the excitement of exploration and discovery.
Skytland grew up in Edmore, North Dakota and later graduated from Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Valparaiso University in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s degree from the International Space University in Space Studies. He will graduate with a MBA from the University of Texas McCombs School of Business shortly after the NEEMO 14 mission.