Astronauts go through a lot of training to get to Outer Space, and even more if they want to go for a space walk.
Why is that? Well, they first need to know what they are getting into.
Space is basically a vacuum, that bends time, and our Solar System is moving very fast. 72,000 kilometres per hour, fast; towards a star in the constellation of Hercules.
That’s 20 kilometres per second on a journey that is 367 light years away.
There is no breathable air, no pressure (gravity) to circulate the blood flow in our bodies and the solar radiation is high, even in the lowest areas.
But above all this danger, first astronauts have to train their social skills.
Professor at Western University Dr. Kevin Shoemaker explains, “Astronauts are going into Space for six months to a year. And you’re in a Space Station which is essentially four or five school buses linked together by tunnels. And you’re going to live there… with four or five other people. Arguments are not tolerated. You have to know how to get along with people under every circumstance.
More meticulous mental training is involved for astronauts, because they have to know other expertise above their own.
Scientists spend about a year training astronauts how to conduct their experiments.
And if the astronauts aren’t heading to space for some time, they may choose to be apart of an Earth Study.
Shoemaker explains, “Some Earth based models are on isolation training. Getting used to living away from people in a small group, where you have no opportunity to go back. There are stations in the Arctic and Antarctic, where you get trained to do that. And there’s some underwater… where you go down and spend time in a small container with a couple of people. That’s your life for a little while.”
And on top of all this training and intense studying, astronauts have to go through even more, if they want to go on a space walk.
Shoemaker says they have to learn how to cope with being on the outside of a space station trying to do work. Especially in a suit that’s difficult to move in, because it’s essentially a pressurized bubble suit.
“Every movement you make has to be thought through very carefully. So they’re go out on a two or three hour space walk and get very little done. But that’s a good day.”
And while they’re up there in a Space station, the astronauts have to workout for hours; between two to three.
All of this can take an astronaut up to 10 years to learn and train for.