Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Kiwi Astronauts Begin Space Training Programme

Kiwi Astronauts Begin Space Training Programme

By Fleur Revell
26 August 2014


Nine Kiwi space tourists have embarked on a rigorous astronaut training programme to prepare themselves for their upcoming space flight on Virgin Galactic’s new extra-terrestrial service.

Official Space Travel Agent Katrina Cole from House of Travel says a recent acceleration in test flights and preparation of local accommodation for the international guests to the Spaceport America launch site in New Mexico is a strong indicator the launch date will be within the coming months.

These developments have seen the Kiwi space tourism contingent eager to complete their astronaut training before take-off, says Cole.

She says the centrifuge and zero gravity training will help the astronauts to prepare for space travel before the launch of the inaugural Virgin flight.

The Virgin Galactic three day training programme involves a thorough medical examination, and detailed outline of the experience for the passengers, she says.

The future astronauts will be a part of the overall mission crew when they go to space so will spend time meeting their team, the pilots and being familiarised with the flight profile. They will go through high and micro gravity training to acclimatise themselves with the effect of the g-force and zero gravity they will experience on their flight and how to handle them.

Mr John Dunn a surgeon says the once in a life time opportunity is now fast becoming a reality. He has completed the training and says it gave him a taste of what to expect before heading into space.

"The extreme g-force provided by the centrifuge training provides a close approximation of the rigors of travelling beyond the earth’s atmosphere.

“Experiencing weightlessness during the zero-g flights has also helped me understand the physical sensations I can expect while travelling beyond the constraints of Earth’s gravity,” says Mr Dunn.

Cole says the goal is to avoid G-LOC or gravity induced loss of consciousness.

"G-LOC can cause astronauts to pass out for up to 28 seconds, although that doesn't sound like much - it’s a significant gap in a unique experience, they won’t want to miss a second," says Cole.

Alongside the g-force training the trainee astronauts will be preparing for their flight through private consultations, medical sessions, flight suit fittings and other activities to ensure they are thoroughly familiar with all the safety and emergency procedures.

“We do not want anything to distract from the flight experience, so the future astronauts will also spend time in a lifelike mock-up of the SpaceShipTwo cabin, where they will test their seat configuration and get to know the cabin setup.

“This will form part of the full rehearsals, so that on flight day the Future Astronauts are fully trained, comfortable, confident and ready for the experience of a lifetime,” says Cole.

For more information visit www.houseoftravel.co.nz


ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Must Sell 20 Petrol Stations: Z Cleared To Buy Caltex Assets

Z Energy is allowed to buy the Caltex and Challenge! petrol station chains but must sell 19 of its retail sites and one truck-stop, the Commerce Commission has ruled in a split decision that acknowledges possible retail price coordination between fuel retailers occurs in some regions. More>>

ALSO:

Huntly: Genesis Extends Life Of Coal-Fuelled Power Station To 2022

Genesis Energy will keep its two coal and gas-fired units at Huntly Power Station operating until 2022, having previously said they'd be closed by 2018, after wringing a high price from other electricity generators who wanted to keep them as back-up. More>>

ALSO:

Dammed If You Do: Ruataniwha Irrigation Scheme Hits Farmer Uptake Targets

Enough Hawke's Bay farmers have signed up for water from the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme for it to go ahead as long as a cornerstone institutional capital investor can be found to back it, its regional council promoter announced. More>>

ALSO:

Reserve Bank: OCR Stays At 2.25%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2.25 percent, in a decision traders had said could go either way, while predicting inflation will pick up as the slump in oil prices washes out of the data and capacity pressures start to build in the economy. More>>

ALSO:

Export Values Down: NZ Posts Biggest Annual Trade Deficit In 7 Years

New Zealand has recorded its biggest annual trade deficit since April 2009, reflecting weaker prices of agricultural commodities such as dairy products, beef and lamb, and increased imports of vehicles and machinery. More>>

ALSO:

Currency Events: NZ's New $5 Note Wins International Banknote Award

New Zealand’s new Brighter Money $5 note has been named Banknote of the Year in a prestigious international competition. The $5 note was awarded the IBNS Banknote of the Year title at the International Bank Note Society’s annual meeting. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news