Astronaut training requires a diverse range of training techniques – classroom work, simulation, and practical exercises.

Flight simulation allows an astronaut candidate to previsualize an entire mission. With motion-based simulators, he can even experience some of the movement. Thanks to Moore’s Law, flight simulators are becoming better and cheaper all the time.

Simulators have certain limitations, however, which will never be overcome by advances in technology. A crew member in a simulator, however sophisticated, knows he is in a simulator. Simulation cannot reproduce the human factors – the excitement, stress, and risk – of actual spaceflight.

The United States Rocket Academy uses aircraft to reproduce some of those factors which are absent in the simulator. This video shows a typical training flight using aerobatic airplanes, with citizen-astronaut candidates Maureen Adams and Lt. Col. Steve Heck (USAF-ret.).

Written by Astro1 on June 30th, 2012 , Citizens in Space, Space Medicine and Safety

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