Becoming an astronaut and going to space to explore it has been and is till date every human's dream. However, to fulfill this dream one has to put in great amount of hard work and undergo excessive training.
A basic astronaut-training period is for 2 years. During this period, candidates receive training in
Basic science (which includes maths, astronomy, physics, geology, meteorology, oceanography),
Technology (in the field of navigation, orbital mechanics, materials processing)
Space shuttle system.
They are taught parachute jumping, land and sea survival techniques, scuba diving and ways to overcome high (hyberbaric) and low (hypobaric) atmospheric pressure conditions. They also have to pass a swimming test. They are exposed to micro gravity of space flight. Pilot astronauts are given 15 hours of flying training per month in T-38 jets. Mission specialists are given four hours of flight training.
The candidates begin their formal training by reading manuals and taking computer based training in different Orbiter systems, ranging from propulsion to environmental.
After getting selected for a flight, the candidates receive specific training for the mission at least 10 months before the flight. The astronauts are trained in flight simulators, full-scale mockups of the shuttle and space station, and underwater training for space walks. The simulations prepare the astronauts for every kind of emergency or contingency.
After the training, pilot astronauts are prepared for the flight with training in the shuttle itself. There are meetings, more simulations, medical tests and discussions. These are called debriefings . After this, they are ready for space travel.