On April 2, the National AeroSpace Training and Research Center (NASTAR) Center announced a restructuring of its space training course to tailor it to an upcoming wave of suborbital tourism flights. The course is designed to prepare spaceflight participants for the experience of flying in space through a two day basic training course. The course includes classroom teaching, exercises, and simulations.
The NASTAR Center opened in 2007 and was the first institution approved by the US Federial Aviation Administration Office of Commercial Spaceflight to provide commercial spaceflight training. So far, 250 individuals have completed the NASTAR course.
“Space will soon be accessible to all of mankind for the first time in history,” said Brienna Henwood, Director of Space Training and Research at NASTAR Center in a press release. “Since each of our 250 space trainees handle the physical, mental, and emotional impacts of space differently, the NASTAR Center Basic Space Training course is really a must for anyone considering going to space so you know what to really expect during flight.”
NASTAR trainees can choose among the two day basic training, a two day advanced training course with more in depth emergency preparedness training, as well as one day supplemental courses for payload specialists focused on designing and conducting research experiements, and for space suit and systems focused on learning to don and doff, use, and operate life support equipment. NASTAR uses a centrifuge to simulate in-flight acceleration and microgravity conditions.
NASTAR is not the only company to offer spaceflight training for tourists. Space Adventures, the company that manages tourist flights on the Soyuz and is the exclusive marketer for Armadillo Aerospace suborbital flights offers its own comprehensive program in Star City, Russia. Incredible Adventures is a US based company that offers spaceflight training aboard ex-military jets. Virgin Galactic plans to offer its own three day training course for its suborbital passengers.
The video below introduces the NASTAR training program for suborbital scientists: