Close this search box.

The Rigorous Path To Space: What Type of Training Do Astronauts Go Through?

Astronauts have many things to adjust to in space, from the feeling of weightlessness to the frequent darkness. So, it only makes sense that they go through a series of routines to prepare them for the journey ahead. But what type of training do they go through? How do they prepare for the space conditions since they practice here on Earth? This article will answer these questions.

The familiar foundational step

It’s not surprising that astronauts have to go through formal training. It’s a completely scientific procedure, after all. Before the commencement of more practical and simulated practices, astronauts have to study.

Courtesy: Freepik

They study manuals and also undergo computer-based training lessons. These lessons cover different aspects, from environmental control to the propulsion of Orbiter systems. They undertake this training in their candidacy year.

A pool for weightlessness practice

Just like we take part in boot camps to get familiar with certain aspects of a discipline, astronauts also have their type of ‘boot camp.’ In an indoor pool, the largest of its kind, astronauts prepare for weightlessness in space.

Courtesy: StarLust

The pool duplicates the weightlessness of the space atmosphere, and astronauts train deep within it. They practice for spacewalks on full-sized representations of space station modules; they spend about 10 hours under the water for every hour they walk in space.

Flight techniques are more than necessary

Each space voyage requires a pilot astronaut, but each crew member should know the basics, just in case. This explains why all astronauts on board, pilot or not, take part in cockpit management and flight techniques training in T-38 jets. 

Courtesy: YouTube

As for the pilot astronauts, they have to train in a jet aircraft that has been modified to replicate the approach and landing of the space shuttle. They fly over a thousand approaches to familiarise them with the exceptionally steep runway. 

Simulations: Vital preparatory stage

Since astronauts aren’t practicing in space, they are often trained under different conditions which can be expected in outer space. This training is done at the fixed base crew station because it’s the only trainer with the required consoles.

Courtesy: Wikipedia

A motion-based trainer mimics the noise, views, and vibrations that astronauts will experience during the shuttle launch and landing. These simulators also familiarize astronauts with the station’s layout; they spend a total of 300 hours in the simulators.

Categorizing and appraising the process of astronauts’ training

Astronauts venture into space for different reasons; while some may go into space on specific missions, others may not. It’s a no-brainer that pilots on specific missions receive more intensive training. They train with two Gulfstream II jets that perform like the Orbiter.

Courtesy: Simple Flying

According to the astronauts who partook in this training process, the duplicates accurately represent their experience in space. Generally, actual space travel always comes with fewer contingencies than were practiced, so astronauts are always more than equipped. 

Sign up for Spaceloration Newsletter

Related Posts