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Updated: Feb 17, 2023

Park City, UT - June 23, 2022

Uplift Aerospace (subsidiary of NRP Stone: NRPI) is privileged to officially announce that Ruben Salinas has been selected as the first commercial astronaut for Space+’s upcoming flight on the Blue Origin New Shepard rocket. Space+ is also forming the “Space+5” Astronaut Class, a group of five individuals being contracted to train as commercial astronauts. The Space+5 includes Ruben Salinas as the first Astronaut and group leader, Sydney Hamilton, Mike Mongo, Trent Tresch, and Joan Melendez-Misner. The full Space+5 class is training to support the mission and will also fly if additional opportunities arise. The Space+5 future astronauts were announced June 22nd during NFT.NYC at The 40/40 Club during a private event.

Uplift Aerospace announced the "Space+5" astronaut class on June 22nd, 2022. The Space+5 includes Ruben Salinas, the first commercial astronaut in the Starborn Space program, along with 4 astronaut trainees. From left to right: Josh Hanes (Uplift Aerospace CEO), Ruben Salinas, Trent Tresch, Joan Melendez-Misner, Sydney Hamilton, Mike Mongo, Emily Higgins (Uplift Aerospace Director of Space+).

As the chosen astronaut and community ambassador, Ruben Salinas will travel to space aboard an upcoming Blue Origin New Shepard rocket. The mission objectives for this space flight include a focus on science, art, and charity. Space+ will be announcing more details on the chosen charity for the mission, along with specific research objectives in the coming months. Space+ is currently engaging with public/private collaborations to integrate research and cultural projects into this first mission. Ruben will also be showcasing Space+’s Starborn Space Program, which aims to provide greater access and diversity in space.

Ruben “Lightyear” Salinas (Twitter: @rubenfsalinas) is a Latino medtech serial entrepreneur, government advisor, and activist supporting underrepresented leaders in life sciences. He has pioneered and patented multiple medical technologies, several of which have become standards of care globally. In 2017, Ruben was selected as a Presidential Leadership Scholar and appointed by Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts to the Massachusetts Economic Development Planning Council in 2018. He is also an active-duty volunteer EMT, a pilot, avid biker, and scuba diver. As the first Space+ astronaut to be selected for a space flight, Ruben will be working with Space+ as the leader of the Space+5 Astronaut Class and to complete the mission objectives.

The additional commercial astronaut trainees in the Space+ 5 are Trent Tresch, Joan Melendez-Misner, Mike Mongo, and Sydney Hamilton. Tresch is the Founding Director of the University of Arizona’s Center for Human Space Exploration; Melendez-Misner is an Integration Engineer at NASA working on space & asteroid planetary defense missions; Mongo is the author of “The Astronaut Instruction Manual” and host of “Mike Mongo’s Astronaut Adventures” on YT. Mongo is the founder of Astronaut Job Camp at SaxaVord Spaceport, and co-creator of Muttniks NFT (Twitter: @PawsInSpace); and Hamilton is an Aerospace Structures Manager at Boeing and was the first African-American to win the Space & Satellite Professionals International (Twitter: @SSPI) Promise Award.

The Space+5 is the first astronaut class building toward creating Uplift Aerospace’s “Starborn Space Program”. The Starborn Space Program is working to create a range of missions over the long-term that will contract a diverse group of individuals from the community to train and serve as commercial astronauts. Membership to the space program is facilitated through ownership of Launch Pass NFT tokens that double as membership for real-life access to space, including suborbital space flights, the International Space Station, astronaut training, and other authentic space related events.

Uplift Aerospace’s Space+ project is using artificial reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), NFTs, cryptocurrency, and blockchain technology to increase access and diversity in space by providing space experiences and opportunities for its members. The upcoming Starborn NFT collection will provide access to a Web3 metaverse for holders that provides a technological bridge for commerce and culture between Earth and space.


Uplift Aerospace, a subsidiary of NRP Stone, Inc., is an aerospace company pioneering advanced technologies for a multiplanetary economy to revolutionize humanity's connection with space and promote the conservation of Earth. Our products symbolize humanity’s boundless capability and commitment to exploration. Uplift is working towards manufacturing and delivering products from space to ensure a sustainable future on Earth.

For more information, visit


US OTC Symbol: NRPI; CUSIP: 62940J200. For the latest updates, visit and follow @upliftaerospace on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Disclosures and Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements: This release contains forward-looking statements, which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Expressions of future goals and similar expressions reflecting something other than historical fact are intended to identify forward-looking statements, but are not the exclusive means of identifying such statements. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including the timely development and market acceptance of products and technologies, economic and market factors, successful integration of acquisitions, the ability to secure additional sources of financing, the ability to reduce operating expenses and other factors. The actual results that the company achieves may differ materially from any forward-looking statements due to such risks and uncertainties. The Company, its management, or affiliates, undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements in order to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of this release.

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