Pilot astronauts fly for many hours a month
in NASA's 2-seat T-38 jets. They also build up flying hours and practice
Orbiter landings. Mission specialist astonauts also fly a minimum of 4 hours
Astronaut Formal Training
The astronauts begin their formal space transportation training
program during their year there by doing many training lessons including lessons
on enviromental control.
Next in the training process is the single systems trainer.
Where the single astronaut is accompanied by an instructor. Where they learn
about Orbiter subsystems using a checklist similar to those found on a mission.
The checklist contains system operations and corrective actions for malfunctions.
Astronauts are trained operate each system, reconize malfunctions, and perform
After that the astronauts begin training in the complex Shuttle
Mission Simulators. Which provides training for all areas of vehicle operations
and all areas of system tasks of the major flight phases such as prelaunch,ascent,orbit
operations, and entry and landing. Also included in the training is payload
operations. Also there is two added simulators a fixed base and a motion base.
The fixed base crew is used for both specific mission/payload
training and launch descent landing training. It is a complex trainer with
many machines that are able to simulate the missions literally.
The motion base crew is used to train pilots and commanders
in phases of launch, descent, and landing. Motion cues are used to simulate
launch and descent.
Astronauts begin their training before assigned to a
mission approximately 10 months before flight.
When assigned to a flight they train using flight-specific
During this last 11 weeks the astronauts train with flight
controllers in the Mission Control Center. The Shuttle Missions Simulators
and Mission Control Center are linked by a computer just as the Orbiter and
MCC are connected during an actual mission. The flight controllers learn to
work as though they are 1 person. Total hours after asignment is about 300
There also are part-task trainers that are used to prepare
astronauts for shuttle missions. These trainers vary and all have a
The Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory is used to simulate the
0-g or weightless condition experience in space flight. It is used to
design the space station and future NASA programs. It helps the astronaut
to get used to weightless conditions during flight.
Several mockups and trainers are also used to train the astronauts.
Full fuselage trainer is a plywood Orbiter mockup with nonfunctional flight
deck and full-scale payload bay. It is used to train for many aspects of space
flight. The crew compatment is a mockup of the forward section of the Orbiter
that is able to be tilted vertically it is used to train for on-orbit habitability
procedures and emergency pad egress and bailout operation. The crew stations
are similar to those. They have a mechanical arm similar to those on the
Orbiter. Mission specialist train to they practice deploying and rebirthing
loads into the Orbiter.
Pilots training for a specific mission get more
intensive training in the Orbiter in Shuttle training aircraft which are 4
Gulfstream II jets modified to perform like an Orbiter during landing. It
has many modifications. assigned pilots receive 100 hours of training before
flight. In between training the trainees keep themselves up to date on the
mission. They also study procedures, and participate in meetings. Also they
also participate in tests at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The mission is a success it had far less problems then
trained for. Besides the vibration of the launch and weightlessness the training
is the same. After the mission the crew spend several days in medical testing
and debriefing. retelling their stories for the benifit of future space missions.
The media also receives the story. Then studies and training begin again for
another space mission.