Want to train like an astronaut at an actual space center? Fortunately, there area a couple of NASA space centers that actually offer astronaut training experiences at their facilities.
These experiences are a great way for a young aspiring astronaut or space travel enthusiast to experience what it’s like to be a real life astronaut in space.
The following is a list of astronaut training experiences:
U.S. Space and Rocket Center:
Address: U.S. Space & Rocket Center, One Tranquility Base, Huntsville, AL
The U.S. Space and Rocket Center is a visitor center located at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. The center is home to the largest collection of rockets and space memorabilia in the world.
The center offers a SCUBA experience underwater astronaut training activity during which participants experience weightlessness underwater to get a feel for what it’s like to be in space.
Instructors lead the participants through a series of tasks while underwater to simulate working in space. After completing the activity, the participants earn an Underwater Astronaut Trainer Certification Card to mark the occasion.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex:
Address: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Space Commerce Way, Merritt Island, FL
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is a space museum located at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida that features exhibits on NASA’s various space missions.
The complex offers a popular Astronaut Training Experience that allows participants to experience what it’s like to travel to and work on Mars.
During the four to five hour-long program, participants practice how to dock a spacecraft, how to navigate the Mars terrain and they will experience performing a spacewalk in a microgravity environment.
The complex also offers a shorter version of this experience, called an ATX Training Stage, which allows participants who don’t have time to do the full experience to participate in a specific part of it such as experiencing a microgravity simulation or learning to navigate Mars by rover or on foot.
In addition to the astronaut training, the complex also offers guided tours of the Kennedy Space Center, astronaut encounters where they can meet NASA astronauts, a NASA Overnight experience and the opportunity to touch a moon rock collected during the Apollo 17 mission.
The Kennedy Space Center and the visitor complex are owned by NASA and are operated by NASA contractor, Delaware North.
“Scuba Experience – Underwater Astronaut Training.” U.S. Space and Rocket Center, rocketcenter.com/scuba
“Astronaut Training Experience.” Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, kennedyspacecenter.com/explore-attractions/all-attractions/astronaut-training-experience