Fit young bucks with minds like Wiltshire knives and hearts built for frontier adventure, your stereotypical astronaut combines all the manly traits that make Earth women jelly-legged and wild.

And the common perception is that space tourists would have to be the same: engaging in a rigorous mental and physical training schedule in the months leading up to their journey.

But the common perception is wrong.

Anyone that can handle a rollercoaster can easily handle a space shuttle: strap themselves in, smile as the engine fires and scream as they burst through the atmosphere. And just as it was for Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, Moonwalking will be an easy, if slightly clumsy, jaunt for every Tom, Dick and overweight Harry.

The reason astronauts have been required to be at peak fitness, you see, is because space flights have been so expensive. If Astronauts get sick, missions have to be abandoned and the space agency purse is depleted. But space tourists aren’t required to operate complex machinery, manipulate shuttles for docking or handle any emergency. Space tourists are required to be happy: marvel at the big blue earth, giggle as they float in zero gravity and laugh at every lunar absurdity.

Don’t misunderstand: preparation is certainly necessary. The kind of preparation, though, that builds holiday excitement and primes you for coming adventures.

Space Tourists preparing for flight need to jump into water tanks in spacesuits, experience high-G simulations and preliminary zero-G floating. And, sure, some of their preparation is a little more serious, consisting of physical training, practical training on day-to-day living and educational training, but all that too will be quite interesting.

But the most exciting thing is this: aspiring space tourists, currently without the means, can get a feel for the whole experience by participating in Space Flight training now! It’s available with Space Adventures – the only space tourism company that has actually sent tourists to space.

Physical Training

While not really fundamental, to minimise the likelihood of getting sick in space, it is probable that, at least in the years before space and lunar hospitals are established, space tourists will be required to achieve good health and fitness through diet and regular exercise.

Zero Gravity

Acclimatising the body to zero gravity is probably one of the most exciting training activities in the world.  And Space Adventures offers zero gravity flights on its modified Boeing 727. Participants climb on board the plane, which takes off and is soon executing parabolic manoeuvres. Doing so generates a weightless environment, at which time participants unbuckle, float freely from their chairs and start spinning, rolling and twirling.

Centrifuge

Cosmonauts, astronauts, military pilots and now space tourists are prepared for the effects of high gravity and weightlessness in the world’s largest Centrifuge at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre, located in Star City, Russia.

Participants in Space Adventures’ Centrifuge program, whether going to space or not, experience 10 to 30 times the force of gravity, thereby simulating the effect for the body of being in a space ship launching out of the atmosphere.

Spacewalk

Learning how to walk in and operate a space suit is a fundamental for cosmonauts. It’s also required for space tourists likely to exit spacecraft in space or to walk, like weird creatures, on the Moon.

Space Adventures Spacewalk Training (Neutral Buoyancy Training) gets participants to climb into spacesuit, then throws them into a tank of water.  Adding to the fun, the tank has a full-scale model of the International Space Station. The trainees learn how to walk, operate the mechanics and operations of the spacesuit and manipulate objects with neutral buoyancy in water – very similar to how objects are in space and on the Moon.

Technical Training

There are certain uncomfortable practical realities about living in space. Technical training will entail learning, for example, how to use a zero gravitation toilet and other such giggle-inducing unpleasantness. There is also emergency training.

Health Training

And space tourists, just like Astronauts, will be required to receive a full briefing on the pleasant and not so pleasant physical effects of space on their bodies.

You’re training on this will start here:

Space sickness

Astronauts and the few space tourists that have thus far entered space have been known to get a little bit of space sickness. Don’t be alarmed though. Space sickness is really no different from the motion sickness experienced in a car, boat or aeroplane – a conflict between what your eyes experience and the information received from your inner ear. Consequently, the medicines used to contend with these illnesses are also effective for space sickness.

Decongestion

In addition, in zero gravity the fluids in your body don’t get pulled down to your feet and tend to accumulate high in your body. Commonly, this causes an uncomfortable feeling of nasal decongestion. Under the Moon’s low-gravity, of course, this will be experienced to a lesser degree.

Bone & Muscle Degeneration

There is also much talk of the effect on the body of prolonged exposure to reduced, or zero, gravity. Your body, you see, tends to get a little lazy without gravity. In bones and muscles, tension and compression is reduced and muscles become relaxed – including the muscles of the heart, as pumping blood becomes considerably easier. Equally, bones tend to lose mass as, with less stresses, they take up less calcium.

For the standard tourist spending no more than a week or so in space, this will all be okay. It is only after few months in reduced gravity environments that muscles start shrinking dramatically. But currently, space adventurers spending longer periods in space need merely to engage in a daily physical exercise regime and to wear special clothes regularly – clothes that apply compressive forces to their body’s joints and bones.

Radiation

Another less than pleasant aspect of space travel and lunar life is that in space and on the Moon there is no atmosphere to protect us from high-energy radiation in the form of solar cosmic radiation, solar flares and galactic cosmic radiation.

A week or so of exposure is again little concern, but prolonged periods in space can currently be damaging to your health. For people spending extended time in space, such as Accommodation.com Hotel Staff, it is therefore hoped that suitable technologies and materials to reduce or completely remove radiation concerns will be developed in the coming years.

 

Interested in discussing Moon preparation and fun Moon-like activities available now? Wanting to share what you know? Visit the Moon Prep Forum [LINK]. 

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