Train Like An Astronaut At Space School

During the 2 week Space School program, Australian school students will have the opportunity to understand what its like to train as an astronaut in the NASA Space Program.

Students will experience true to life sensations of space travel and what it is like to work in space through mission simulators such as the Multi-Axis Trainer (MAT), 5 Degrees of Freedom Chair (5DF) and more at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, in Huntsville Alabama.

5 Degrees of Freedom Chair

5 Degrees of Freedom Chair

5 Degrees of Freedom Chair (5DF)

The 5DF was used by the Gemini and Apollo programs in the 1960s for astronauts to practice moving in a friction less environment.

This trainer allows astronauts to move in five different directions:

  1. Forward and backward
  2. Roll
  3. Yaw
  4. Side to side
  5. Pitch

Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU)

The Manned Maneuvering Unit allowed astronauts to perform untethered EVA spacewalks at a distance from the Space Shuttle to perform repairs, satellite retrieval and other activities where a tethered EVA wouldn't be possible. 

The Manned Maneuvering Unit-1 G trainer simulates the friction less environment outside of a space vehicle and gives students the opportunity to experience what it is like to operate in the micro gravity of space.

The MMU uses the same 5 degrees of freedom as the 5DF.

  1. Forward and backward
  2. Roll
  3. Yaw
  4. Side to side
  5. Pitch
Manned Maneuvering Unit-1 G Trainer (MMU)

Manned Maneuvering Unit-1 G Trainer (MMU)

1/6 Gravity Chair simulates walking on lunar surface.

1/6 Gravity Chair simulates walking on lunar surface.

1/6 Gravity Chair

The 1/6th Gravity Chair simulates walking on the lunar surface by suspending the user in a chair connected to a series of springs on a rail. It is designed to simulate the Moon’s gravitational pull, which is 1/6 that of Earth’s. This means that if you weigh 60 kilos on earth, you would only weigh 10 kilos on the moon.

The Apollo astronauts found that walking on the moon wasn't as easy as walking on Earth an discovered three kinds of movements that makes walking on the lunar surface piece of cake. These movements are:

  • The Bunny Hop
  • Side-to-Side
  • Slow Motion Jog

 

Multi-Axis Trainer (MAT)

The Multi-Axis Trainer is designed to simulate disorientation that an astronaut would feel during a tumble spin which might occur on reentry into the Earth's atmosphere.

The student is strapped in a chair that spins on three axes causing disorientation to its occupant.

The MAT is patterned after the Multiple-Axis Spin/Space Test Inertia Facility (MASTIF) which was used by astronaut during training the Mercury program.

Multi-Axis Trainer simulates disorientation. 

Multi-Axis Trainer simulates disorientation.