• Question: What is your favourite thing to do to train an astronaut?

    Asked by PreciousPandaHannah to Jon, Anne, Beth, COLFlight, Tom on 9 Oct 2015. This question was also asked by Daimena, Charlie_Maja_Grace.
    • Photo: Jonathan Scott

      Jonathan Scott answered on 9 Oct 2015:

      I like the training we do for space walks. We do this in very large swimming pools, because being in water in a space suit is very much life floating in space, so we can make the traing very realistic (and it looks pretty cool). When we dive under the water normally – like in scuba diving – it’s difficult to stay at the same depth, because each time you breathe your bouyancy chances: breathe in and you float upwards and breathe out and you sink a bit deeper. However, with spacewalk training, we can use the space suit to stop this happening, so astronauts can stay completely still in the water – this is called “neutral buoyancy” and astronauts say it feels very similar to being in a space suit during a space walk.

    • Photo: Beth Healey

      Beth Healey answered on 13 Oct 2015:

      I think one of the most interesting parts of the training is the Human Behavior & Performance training which all of the astronauts receive before going to the ISS. I think how we work and interact together as a crew is one of the biggest challenges to successful long duration space missions. Imagine travelling all of the way to Mars with someone you didn’t like!!

      We had the same training with the ESA team at the European Astronaut Center before coming here to Antarctica. The things we learn’t have been really useful for our crew here.

      Like Jon though the underwater EVA training is awesome too and I would love to have a go myself!