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Prepare for Launch


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Table of Contents

Section 1: Becoming an Astronaut. The Application Process. The Selection Process.- Section 2: Training for Life in Space. Astronaut Training. Technical Assignments. Types of Missions. Mission Traning.- Section 3: Before Launch. Behind the Scenes. Countdown to the First Flight. The Final Count.

About the Author

The appeal of becoming an astronaut is growing ever larger. The combined 2008-2009 Astronaut Selection Campaigns of NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) for a total of just 21 positions attracted 17,300 applications from outstanding scientists, engineers and/or medical doctors with a wide variety of backgrounds. Among the qualities required are creativity, diversity, teamwork and a probing mind, together with a high level of fitness to withstand the physical demands of training and space flight. Prepare for Launch surveys and investigates the path from astronaut application to selection, and from probationary training to mission preparation. It chronicles the intense, highly technical and sophisticated training necessary to forge a flight crew capable of responding to any conceivable emergency and capable of expertly executing hundreds of mission tasks. Dr Erik Seedhouse is eminently qualified to provide a unique insight into this subject as he was recently (February 2009) one of the final 20 candidates (from an initial group of 5352) considered for astronaut selection by the Canadian Space Agency. An aerospace research scientist specializing in space life sciences and physiology, Dr Seedhouse was an Astronaut Training Consultant and wrote the Spaceflight Participants Flight Surgeon's Manual for Bigelow Aerospace in 2005. He also developed astronaut training protocols for future spaceflight participants and wrote and edited several chapters of Bigelow Aerospace's Astronaut Training Manual. Erik Seedhouse is the author of Tourists in Space: A Practical Guide, Lunar Outpost and the forthcoming Martian Outpost for Springer Praxis.


From the reviews:

"In Prepare for Launch you can read a detailed and thorough account written by someone who tried very hard to change his astronaut dream into a reality. Seedhouse's book contains the nuts and bolts of astronaut training in North America and Europe. ... He leads us step by step through the protracted process of becoming an astronaut. ... Seedhouse has written an intriguing account of the training process, and his book is a joy to read." (Carole Stott, The Observatory, Vol. 131 (1221), April, 2011)

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