These scripts enable navigation. It requires javascript be enabled in your browser. Human Space Flight WebHuman Space Flight WebHuman Space Flight WebHuman Space Flight WebHuman Space Flight WebHuman Space Flight WebHuman Space Flight WebHuman Space Flight WebHuman Space Flight Web
Skip navigation to content.
Human Space Flight WebReturn to Human Space Flight home page
Human Space Flight Web
Human Space Flight Web

BEHIND THE SCENES | Planning | Training | Engineering | Processing | Research | Meet the People

Behind the ScenesTraining

Anything astronauts do in space is practiced dozens of times on the ground -- whether it's attaching a new piece of equipment to the space station during a spacewalk or growing cell cultures to better understand how cancer forms.

Professional trainers ensure that astronauts not only understand every task they will do in space, but that they understand the intricacies of the equipment and systems with which they will be working.

The Making of an Astronaut : A New Beginning
NASA’s 2004 astronaut candidate class was the first chosen as NASA embarked on the Vision for Space Exploration, and included the first educator astronauts who will help inspire the next generation of explorers.

Read their journals about flight training, water survival training and more!

The Making of an Astronaut : ISS Training
Astronauts training for extended stays at the International Space Station spend 18 months preparing for their missions.

The People of Training

IMAGE: Debrah Underwood

Debrah Underwood is the Training and Crew Operations Group Lead at the Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
More People of Training

NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations
The NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations, or NEEMO, program sends groups of NASA employees and contractors to live in Aquarius -- the world's only underwater laboratory -- for up to two weeks at a time. For NASA, Aquarius provides a convincing analog to the International Space Station, and NEEMO crewmembers experience some of the same tasks and challenges underwater as they would in space.

Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory
The Sonny Carter Training Facility near Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, provides controlled neutral buoyancy operations to simulate the zero-g or weightless condition that is experienced by spacecraft and crew during space flight. The facility provides important preflight training for spacewalks, familiarizing future crewmembers with the dynamics of body motion under weightless conditions.

Facilities and Projects

United Space Alliance
NASA's prime space shuttle contractor provides personnel and hardware for training crewmembers, preparing them for the tasks they will perform during upcoming missions.

Meet the People

Gavin Giere trains divers at Johnson Space Center's Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory. The divers provide assistance in the training of astronauts in a simulated zero-gravity environment.
He fled Castro's Cuba as a child. She made a less dramatic, but long journey from the Philippines. Their love for art, science and science fiction brought them together in high school. Now this married couple works on key NASA programs at the Marshall Space Flight Center.
When looking for a new job, science teacher Debrah Underwood didn't dream that today she'd be training astronauts to operate cutting-edge science experiments aboard the International Space Station. Underwood is Training and Crew Operations Group Lead at the Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: Amiko Kauderer | Updated: 07/01/2009
Privacy Policy and Important Notices