What kid, at some point, hasn’t wanted to become an astronaut? It’s just real enough that we can dream, yet enough of a rarity that as we grow up we allow it to fade into the background behind more “practical” jobs. If you haven’t let go of the dream, though, and you want to know just how rigorous astronaut training is, here’s a look at the process:
1. Russian survival training is just as hardcore as it sounds.
The ability to think on your feet, come up with ingenious solutions, and stay cool under pressure are best obtained through survival training. Learning how to live without the basic comforts and wonders of technology that we’ve become accustomed to is no easy feat, but those who make it through come out stronger on the other side.
2. Water training is a good proxy to learn spacewalks.
Spacewalks are very important on the ISS, so all crew members must be comfortable with the process. Of course, training for a spacewalk while your down in Earth experiencing gravity comes with its own challenges. The way NASA has solved this is by using water. Underwater training involves full suits as well as simulated scenarios to get astronauts comfortable with the limited range of movement and more difficult to manage dexterity.
3. To live on a spaceship, you have to know how it works.
Last but not least, crew members must know how to work on and tend to the equipment that will keep them alive in space. They must know the ins and outs of the ISS, be able to make repairs and diagnose issues, as well as follow strict emergency procedures without panicking. Do all of this, and you just might be promoted from astronaut in training to full fledged member.