Commercial astronauts need to be able to apply their considerable knowledge and skills to the tasks for which they have been trained. They must get along well with other members of the crew and have an affinity for teamwork, communication, and adaptability. Commercial astronauts also need self-control, mature judgement, and an equable temperament to cope with stress and to respond to any contingencies that may arise.
A4H astronaut candidates follow a progressive, integrated training program that emphasizes the ability to perform missions effectively during all phases of flight as well as in emergency contingencies. Those selected as A4H astronaut candidates possess a unique combination of established scientific expertise, broad technical and operational skills, and a history of activities showing adaptability in challenging environments.
A4H Training *
The two tracks in the A4H training program are Research Specialist Training and Operations Specialist Training, which qualifies A4H Research Specialist Astronauts (RSAs) and Operations Specialist Astronauts (OSAs). RSAs are trained to be effective payload operators, while OSAs are qualified to support a wide range of mission objectives beyond payload operation. They will manage and oversee mission operations, prioritize operational and research objectives, help operate spacecraft systems, handle emergencies, and ensure the overall success of a mission and the safety of those on board. Operations Specialist candidates undergo a much broader training program compared with Research Specialists.
|Research Specialist Training||Operations Specialist Training|
|Education||Masters degree or equivalent||Prerequisite||Research Specialist Training|
|Medical||FAA Class III||Medical||FAA Class II|
|Aviation||hypoxia (altitude chamber) training||Aviation||Private Pilot Certificate
(Instrument Rating preferred)
|Acceleration||at least 3.5 Gz and 6 Gx in a centrifuge followed by unusual attitude aerobatic flight||Acceleration||unusual attitude aerobatic rating|
|Microgravity||at least one parabolic flight consisting of 15 or more parabolic zero-g maneuvers||Microgravity||same as Research Specialist|
|Emergency||egress (dunker tank) training||Emergency||sea and wilderness survival training, Emergency First Responder or equivalent|
|Performance||distraction factors and time management training, motion sickness assessment||Performance||motion sickness desensitization training|
|Analog||Open Water SCUBA or equivalent||Analog||Master Diver SCUBA or equivalent|
|Academic||human performance, life support systems, spacecraft systems overview, and space environment||Academic||crew management, mission planning & operations, science applications, spacecraft subsystems, navigation|
Mission & Systems Training
* The A4H training program presented here applies to A4H members only. While we think this preparation will best prepare us for roles as professional commercial astronauts, no industry-wide standard is expressed or implied.