Press Release

Former NASA Astronaut Gregory “Box” Johnson joins Space Nation

HELSINKI, FINLAND, May 28th, 2018

Astronaut Gregory “Box” Johnson has joined Finnish startup Space Nation as the Chief Space Officer. Johnson’s role will be to advise on the further development of the Space Nation Astronaut Program and future missions to the International Space Station where Johnson has been deployed twice. Space Nation released the first step of the program, the Space Nation Navigator app, which allows anyone with a smartphone to start their astronaut training, in April 2018.

Johnson left the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) in March 2018 where he has been for the last five years and is an advocate for STEM and science for youth. Johnson was the pilot of the Endeavour space shuttle on the STS-123 mission as well as her final flight, mission STS-134. In total Johnson spent 32 days in space, including his time at the International Space Station. Johnson holds multiple engineering degrees and an MBA, and is a trained fighter pilot. Before his career at NASA Johnson flew 61 combat missions with the US Air Force during operation Desert Storm.

Johnson made an appearance in Space Nation’s first training experience in Iceland in May 2018. Influencers got a first hand experience of the Space Nation astronaut training that is awaiting the candidates who will be picked for the Space Nation Astronaut Program. During the Iceland astronaut experience the candidates went through physical and mental challenges, solved challenges with the CubeRover, which will be deployed to the moon by Astrobotics in 2020, and executed an extensive search and rescue mission.

Space Nation’s aim is to make space accessible and relevant for all on Earth, and open up a way for the general public to participate in the new space era. Through the Space Nation Navigator mobile app, developed utilizing NASA and Axiom Space expertise, anyone can now start training their astronaut skills in the hope of being selected to become a Space Nation astronaut. Space Nation will send the first Space Nation Astronaut to lower orbit next year and then further out every year after that.


Gregory “Box” Johnson:
“I first heard about Space Nation about 18 months ago and became fascinated by their approach and aim to democratize space. I know how that I was extremely fortunate to have been selected astronaut and get the opportunity to fly in space. Going through the astronaut training program has taught me so much and being in space seeing the Earth from above is a life changing experience. An experience we hope to be able to share with people on Earth no matter where they are, through the Space Nation Astronaut Program.”

Kalle V?h?-Jaakkola:
“It is a great asset for Space Nation to get an experienced astronaut like Greg on board our management team. His first hand experience from extensive astronaut training and working on board the International Space Station will be invaluable to us in the development of our programs and new partnerships.”


About Space Nation

Founded in 2013 and based in Helsinki, Finland, Space Nation is pioneering humanity?s transition to the new space era by providing space experiences for global audiences. Space Nation has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA, has its own “office space” at the International Space Station and is the first space tourism company to become an Affiliate Member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Space Nation broke the Finnish crowdfunding recording in 2017 by raising the first ?1M in just 43 minutes, and has over 500 private investors.

Space Nation?s partners and advisors include Michael Suffredini, President and CEO of Axiom Space; John Barbera, former president of Turner Broadcasting Sales & 24/7 Realmedia; and Peter Vesterbacka, founder of the startup and tech event Slush in Helsinki and former Mighty Eagle at Rovio Entertainment, the creator of Angry Birds.

Connect with Space Nation:

For more information, please contact:
Hj?rtur Sm?rason, PR Director, Space Nation, tel: +45 2280 1416


Johnson made a surprise appearance for Space Nation astronaut training candidates during Iceland Astronaut Adventure on May 18, 2018.