Prepare Yourself for Space Travel Part 1

When your chance to travel off-world arrives, will you be ready?  Have you thought of the time when it will be possible for you to go out there?  It’s probably going to be a little more challenging to travel off-world than to fly across the world, especially at first.

Let’s explore what areas you may need to prepare yourself for when that time comes.  You’ll probably need to pass some medical tests.  Without gravity, you must be prepared mentally for no ‘up’ or ‘down’ as well as knowing certain things necessary to your vocation or egress, that sort of thing.  What about emotionally or financially?  What about emergencies, perhaps that is covered in astronaut (cosmonaut) training.

To seriously take a travel off-world, it’s not just an adventure trip, at least for awhile.  You want to be in good shape because “You will be faced with extreme levels of pressure and the unusual feeling of weightlessness. An all around general fitness level is important and even required. Apart from space camp or zero gravity flights, a medical exam is necessary to even qualify for space travel. You need to be between 160cm (5’3″) and 185cm (6’1″) in height and between 50 kg (110lbs) and 95kg (209lbs) in weight. If you can’t withstand the physical conditions, they probably won’t even let you train.” ~iExplore

If you are still young, something like Mission X | Train Like an Astronaut might help.

It may be more challenging than you think:  “‘When I first came here in January, I thought nine months to get trained for this is going to be plenty of time. Of course, very quickly, I realized that I had signed up for a very complex task, something much more difficult that I had anticipated. I immediately knew that nine months was going to be a lot of work to get everything prepared for the flight.

‘And now that I am so close to the flight, I am still feeling the pressure, I definitively have been working very long days and most nights…'” ~Richard Garriott

Apparently, the most difficult part of a trip off-world is when ‘G’ forces^ are different at different times, when they change.

The physical effects may be significant for some yet there is much to prepare for mentally.  While the space environment is not actually as volatile as the weather system on Earth, it does present certain problems.  You carry your environment around wherever you go, and ‘outside’ won’t support life without it.  Fire and water act very differently in microgravity.  There is no up or down as we know it, and many other factors we are just not used to having evolved on a planetary body.

So far, everyone who has shed their Earthly bonds has taken on a mission.  There’s a huge list of all who have gone before on the ‘List of space travelers by name‘ Wikipedia page.  It may behoove us to study these pioneers to learn all we can from them to help prepare ourselves when we follow in their footsteps.

We’ll delve into more in a future post.

NOTES:
*Being prepared is vital
*Probably not kid friendly – yet
*Could be millions, there are changes in the industry which may make it more affordable

Sources
*http://www.iexplore.com/activity-guides/space-travel/preparing
* http://trainlikeanastronaut.org/
*http://articles.cnn.com/2008-09-19/world/space.training_1_training-program-space-travel-space-tourism?_s=PM:WORLD
*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_space_travelers_by_name
*http://www.flickr.com/photos/infomatique/459219566/

^G force refers to gravity.  On planet Earth, we experience normal gravity, for us, or 1G.  To escape to orbit requires about 3G, then in orbit around Earth, we would experience microgravity.

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