You don’t have to be a professional astronaut to go into space

Meanwhile, companies like Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin plan much less expensive trips to suborbital space, allowing customers to enjoy microgravity and a few minutes of Earth view. Virgin Galactic plans to run eventually More than 400 flights a yearA combination of tourist travel and mission for scientists conducting experiments in microgravity.

All these new opportunities will make us think again about the meaning of our astronaut training. And that means that if you are rich enough, almost anyone will be able to go into space.

New era

Once upon a time, getting a launch ready was a two-year process. The first astronauts selected for the Mercury program had to spend 1,500 hours flying a military test pilot with a college degree and under their belts. They must be under 40 years of age and less than 5 feet 11 inches. The Gemini and Apollo programs were open to civilian applicants, the height barrier was increased to 6 feet, applicants were not older than 35, and a greater emphasis was placed on educational background.

As part of the training in these programs, employers had to take classes on literal rocket science and spacecraft engineering. They had to learn the method of treatment. They had to take a public speaking course and the media had to be ready. Oh, and in the air, on the ground, and under the water, the astronauts were created physically and mentally to create the pressure and experience they were facing.

Even decades ago, you needed an almost completely clear medical history to qualify for NASA training. “If you said, ‘I get occasional migraine headaches,'” said Glenn King, director of spaceflight training at the National Aerospace Training and Research Center, by Virgin Galactic. More than 600 people for both orbital and suburban missions conducted.

No more than half the jump for future generations of private astronauts. The “right thing” has changed Light safety guidelines for training private astronauts. It’s really reliable to go to companies that look appropriate.

“What we’re seeing now is basically a paradigm shift in space training,” King said. “The private sector is basically looking at everyone in the general public who has the desire and the money to fly in space to have the opportunity.”

“Nowadays, even if you become an NASA astronaut, you don’t have to be a very well-tuned athletic model,” said Derek Hasman, director of training and training at Axim Space. The physical requirements of the agency are much lower than before.

Private companies have taken signals from NASA. King says the Nastar Center has already begun training some private astronauts with disabilities (The European Space Agency wants to start work for its own astronaut corps). One of the sure crews of Inspiration 4 is Haley Arsenax, a 29-year-old medical assistant at St. Jude’s Hospital who survived childhood bone cancer. Her treatment included a dozen rounds of chemotherapy as well as the placement of a titanium rod in her left thigh bone. That won’t stop him from going into space this fall.

The other two travelers of Inspiration 4 will be selected through a raffle and an entrepreneur competition. People who signed up for this raffle had to be recognized as being less than six and a half feet tall and under two hundred and fifty pounds. Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, likened orbital travel to “an intensive roller coaster ride” and said that anyone who could handle it would have to “be good to fly with a dragon.”

It’s certainly a bit gloomy when a giant rocket pushes you away from the Earth’s atmosphere, you can experience advanced G-forces for a few minutes that will make your body nonstop randomly and you can probably do nothing but get stuck with tooth cliched. In most cases, however, groups such as NASA, Axiom, and others consider a health condition to be unhealthy, which could be due to arrhythmia or high blood pressure, which puts you at risk for a brain aneurysm.

These are not problems you can treat in space – which can mean serious complications or death. “If there is a medical condition that could make a crew member sick or disabled in orbit, we try to screen for those issues,” Hasman said. However, if flight attendants think that the risks can be properly addressed before the flight, they cannot be declared ineligible.

Today’s training

In June 2019, NASA and its allies announced that ISS would be launched Visits from private citizens. For Axiom, it was an opportunity for astronauts to learn how to travel and live and work on a space station in orbit. It plans to launch its own in 2024.

“These missions will allow us to practice all the things we need for the Axium station on the road,” Hasman said. AX-1 will be led by former NASA astronaut Michael LaPage-Alegria. He will be joined by three businessmen: Eitan Stevie of Israel, Larry Connor of the United States and Mark Pathi of Canada.

La Paz-Allegria will go into space on its fifth voyage. He had many years of professional astronaut training under NASA. The other three are fairly new to space, although Stevie is trained as a former fighter pilot and Connor (who is 711) as a private pilot. They are paying 55 55 million each for tickets.

Training will begin six to seven months before these three introductions. NASA contractors will conduct exercises on how to respond to emergencies such as cabin pressure loss and teach how to survive and work at the ISS. NASA and elsewhere can mimic a few of the benefits that a compact chamber feels for people in a spacesuit. But most of this training ensures that astronauts are accustomed to seeing and feeling their new abode. They will learn how to do everyday tasks in general, such as preparing food, brushing teeth, using the bathroom, and getting ready for bed. It will still take time to adjust to microgravity, but at least they will be equipped with techniques to smooth the transition.

“It’s all one of the very simple things you do when you’re in microgravity,” Hasman says. “I’ve worked with many NASA astronauts over the years and talked about this adaptation period, both physically and mentally, when they each arrived in space. Our crew is on a 10 day mission only. So it is in our best interest to prepare them as much as possible on the ground, so that they adapt quickly and they get down to the things that are important to them. “

The AX-1 crew will be trained for this environment at the Johnson Space Center, where NASA’s ISS interior has complete mockups. They have to go on a parabolic flight that mimics weightlessness. In the future, Axiom wants this type of training to sit at home and focus specifically on the company’s own space station environment. Other training centers, such as Nastar, run human-centered facilities that expose trainees to experienced elevated G-Force during opening and rehabilitation.

The second part of the X-1 training was aimed at introducing astronauts to the Crew Dragon spacecraft, which will take them to the ISS. It will interact with panels that control how functionality and data monitoring will be accustomed to sitting inside. It was driven primarily by SpaceX out of its convenience in Hawthorne, California. Crew Dragons work mostly autonomously, so crew members themselves only need to take a few direct steps. But if something goes wrong, they need to be prepared for action. In AX-1A, La Paz-Allegria and Connor will serve as commanders-in-chief and pilots for the mission, respectively, and will operate the aircraft for ISS purposes. They need to know the most about how Crew Dragon works.

About a month before the launch, the training will move to Florida, near the launch pad. What will be the day of the crew launch, as well as what can be expected if the crew takes the dragon back to Earth and scatter under the sea, they will gradually go through a dry run.

And finally, there is mission-specific training, which is conducted by Axim. Each member of the crew is trying to do different things while doing ISS – science experiments, social media stunts, promotional activities and much more. “We’ve got a team here at Axiom who work with each of the crew members to design their own orbit plan,” Hasman said. “A lot of times these people don’t know what they can do there, less than what they want to do.”

It’s not very different from what NASA itself does – but without wholesale education in spaceflight, it shrinks in a short time frame. And finally, Axiom expects to run most of this training on its own without any assistance from NASA.

Horizon changes

The training that Axiom astronauts will be given is less intense than that of NASA astronauts, but it is still quite full. But as private spaceflight becomes more common, astronaut training should be more relaxed. Thanks in large part to that Spacecraft Many that simply fly by themselves do not need to communicate with many system crews. “I hope the training will continue to evolve and become more efficient,” Hasman said.

This means spending more time training people for very specific activities and goals during the mission – such as running a specific science experiment or recording a choreographed video. Beth Musa, chief astronaut trainer at Virgin Galactic, said: “People are buying time in space today, choosing what they will do there and need their bespoke training to enable it.”

These things should help encourage a more important trend: short and short training. “We are now beginning to move away from the old paradigm of the huge NASA-style two-year training to qualify as an astronaut,” King says. “I think the commercial industry can bring it down to training days. I think that’s where the art title will start. If companies like Virgin Galactic and SpaceX are serious about conducting thousands or hundreds of crew missions into space each year, this is a practical requirement.

6 steps for private astronauts:

  1. Get space tickets: Of all the possibilities this would mean spending a few million dollars in one seat for a mission, but you could be lucky and be selected for something like the SpaceX Inspiration 4 mission.
  2. Health Screening Pass: Gone are the days of automatic disqualification for any medical condition, but every agency will still examine applicants for adequate physical and mental health. If you have something like a heart condition, you probably won’t pass.
  3. Get used to space: These include parabolic flight that mimics weightlessness, exposure to G-Force through human centrifuge facilities, and how to perform day-to-day tasks in space, such as sleeping, eating, and using the bathroom.
  4. Emergency drills: Many things can go wrong in space, such as losing cabin pressure or being forced to cancel a mission and returning to Earth in a short notice. Everyone needs to learn what their role is in this crisis.
  5. Learn what you’re doing in space: Training centers will provide guidance to clients on what types of activities they can perform and how to perform those tasks. A scientist may want to learn how to conduct an experiment. A tourist can learn how to make a live stream video from followers around the world.
  6. Preparing for the big day: Until the end, private astronauts should rehearse what the launch day is like and make sure they are fully aware of what happened after a plan was changed and what they need to do.

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