To Infinity And Beyond!
Until very recently humans have been earth-bound and unable to reach the clouds — let alone the stars! But within the last century mankind has developed the technology to travel deep into the recesses of space, and we’re still going. For years space travel was reserved for only highly trained astronauts due to the dangerous nature of missions, but NASA and other space programs across the globe have made many technological advances making space tourism a reality for any civilian trying to reach the stars.
Before grabbing an astronaut application, you should probably learn some of the facts about space travel that are essential to any aspiring cosmonaut…
Check out our guide to space travel before blasting off into the cosmos!
Space is a harsh environment such as the whole no-gravity/oxygen and freezing temperatures thing, but once you get used to it, it ain’t that bad! That’s why a huge part of astronaut training aims to prepare travelers for these conditions using some pretty advanced technology. For example, astronauts practicing for space walks are trained underwater using the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL), which simulates the conditions of zero-gravity. The NBL is basically just a giant swimming pool approximately 40 feet deep and containing 6.2 million gallons of water that can house full size replicas of the space crafts the trainees will eventually be working on. The astronauts must suit up and practice moving large objects carefully and ensuring that they don’t float away…
Even performing everyday tasks in a zero-gravity setting can be extremely difficult. The KC-135 (AKA the Weightless Wonder of Vomit Comet) is a plane that provides about 20-25 seconds of no gravity, allowing astronauts to feel the effect of weightlessness and practice performing various activities. Unfortunately, even the most experienced space travelers sometimes feel nauseated when the plane begins it’s free-fall, hence the aircraft’s nickname. And yes, that is Kate Upton in the Weightless Wonder.