Level 3 - Orbital Training

Our Orbital Training Program is scheduled to begin in 2015 and consists of eight weeks of rigorous training for the orbital space environment.  The program expands to twelve weeks with EVA training. Over the course of this program, Participants will gain confidence as they experience a multitude of test scenarios which include aspects like spatial disorientation, emergency depressurization procedures, vehicle malfunctions, and contingency operations. Trainees experience relevant human factors, psychological and physical, that must be mastered before prolonged spaceflight.  The program is designed to increase situational awareness preparing participants to live and operate in space.

Program Details

Orbital Training is a tailored program designed to train Spaceflight Participants (SFP) on launch and orbital vehicle operations, intra-vehicular activity (IVA) occurring during a stay on an orbital vehicle of 10 days or more and extra-vehicular activity (EVA) if required. An SFP applicant enrolling in the Orbital Training program must have completed the Level 1 Spaceflight Fundamentals program. Additionally, SFP’s are trained in accordance to our FAA Safety Approval ensuring a consistent level of spaceflight competency.

Upon completion of Orbital Training the SFP should:

  • Be competent in orbital operations, vehicle systems, environments and physiological effects associated with extended duration spaceflight;
  • Acknowledge and self-correct physiological issues associated with spaceflight;
  • Be able to operate in confined spaces exhibited during extended spaceflight durations;
  • Be competent in operations requiring use of a partial pressure suit;
  • Exhibit adaptation to, and operate in microgravity for extended durations;
  • Be competent in nominal and off nominal vehicle conditions during extended orbital flight;
  • Demonstrate ability to work within a crew environment under stressful situations.

Orbital training contains three sub-programs consisting of:

Orbital Launch Vehicle Operations

 

During Launch Vehicle Operations, the SFP will develop a working knowledge of nominal and emergency ingress and egress, nominal launch and flight procedures, life support operations and emergency procedures. The SFP will also be briefed on spaceflight safety and risks associated with orbital flight. Training tasks will bring the SFP from a basic understanding to a knowledgeable and competent skill level through task repetition. During launch vehicle operations the SFP will compete the following courses:

Spaceflight Physiology 1: Review (PHY 300)

In this course the SFP will review physiological effects which occur during aircraft and spacecraft flight to include mitigation and self-correction techniques. The review will consist of:

  • Human anatomy specific to the SFP during aircraft and orbital flight;
  • Review of basic gas laws;
  • Review physiological divisions of the atmosphere;
  • Altitude physiology and mitigation measures;
  • Review of accelerated G-forces, self-imposed stress, motion sickness and mitigation;
  • Review of potential environmental stressors;
  • Review of incapacitation and health maintenance prior to spaceflight as related to the SFP.

Orbital Spaceflight Environment 1 (ENV 300)

During this course the SFP will review spaceflight dynamics preparing the SFP for spaceflight. The review will cover:

  • Earth’s atmospheric structure and radiation principles exhibited in Low Earth Orbit;
  • Orbital mechanics principles related to orbital flight dynamics as applicable;
  • Vehicle life support, communications, propulsion and attitude control;
  • The operator’s spaceflight mission architecture and Mission Control roles and responsibilities.

Orbital Spaceflight Environment 2: Orbital Transitions and Close Vehicle Proximity Operations (ENV 302)

This course will introduce the SFP to requirements needed for changes in orbital planes and vehicle rendezvous. During this course the SFP will:

  • Gain a working knowledge of orbital mechanics to include Keplerian orbital elements and changes in orbital altitude and inclination;
  • Demonstrate examples and perform mathematical equations deriving proper changes in velocity arriving at proper orbital transfers and planes;
  • Become knowledgeable on vehicle rendezvous, methods of approach, vehicle docking and close proximity operations;
  • Be introduced to orbit phasing, spacecraft true anomaly, velocity matching, station-keeping and docking;
  • Demonstrate examples and perform mathematical equations deriving proper changes in velocity arriving at a proper rendezvous solution;

Crew Resource Management Review (CRM 300)

This course will refresh the SFP on human factors issues present during flight and tools for working in a crew environment: The review will include topics on:

  • Interpersonal communication;
  • Conflict and stress management, situational awareness;
  • Decision making and professionalism.

Pressure Suit Review (PPS 300)

During this course the SFP will review proper pressure suit fit, form and function and perform fitting and operation of the pressure suit used by the operator during orbital flight. The course will review:

  • Proper nomenclature of pressure suit hardware at the top assembly level;
  • Ancillary items used for comfort;
  • Don and doff procedures, suit operations and suit safety precautions;
  • Suit sizing to determine any adjustments needed in fit.

The SFP will be evaluated for mobility and will then doff the pressure suit.

Spaceflight Safety and Risk Briefing (SSR 300)

The SFP will be briefed in accordance with FAA requirements on the physical risks and hazards (known or unknown) associated with spaceflight and the safety record of the launch vehicle type to include:

  • The total number of people who have flown orbital;
  • The total number of people who have died performing orbital flight;
  • The total number of launch and re-entries conducted with people on board and any catastrophic failures associated with these flights;
  • The operator’s safety record post verification of the vehicle to include any incidents or mishaps during any phase of flight;
  • Corrective actions taken by the operator to resolve incidents or mishaps and;
  • Rights afforded to the SFP prior to flight.

Launch Vehicle Operations 1: Nominal Procedures Training (GT 300)

During this course the SFP will be introduced to the nominal procedures used by the operator during orbital launch vehicle operations utilizing a fidelity correct mock-up in preparation for flight. During the course the SFP will:

  • Become familiar with flight hardware and SFP seating;
  • Demonstrate proper vehicle ingress and egress in accordance with the operator’s procedures;
  • Demonstrate proper operation of the SFP restraint system;
  • Become knowledgeable on vehicle life support systems, nominal launch and orbital insertion procedures;
  • Be familiar with microgravity translation points and any restrictions imposed by the operator.
  • Be provided with continued practical training leading to mastery of systems and equipment operations.

Launch Vehicle Operations 2: Emergency Procedures Training and Simulation (GT 301)

This course will train the SFP on emergency procedures in accordance FAA requirements: During the course the SFP will:

  • Be introduced to general and operator’s emergency procedures.
  • Trained on SFP response to a cabin fire, cabin smoke, loss of cabin pressure and techniques associated with emergency ground egress.
  • Develop a working knowledge of the vehicle operator’s emergency egress procedures, life support and survival equipment (if installed).
  • Perform simulated emergency drills;
  • Be provided with continued practical training leading to mastery of systems and equipment operations.

Launch Vehicle Systems 3: Docking Systems (GT 302)

This course will train the SFP on an operator’s orbital launch vehicle docking system, equipment, pre-docking and post departure procedures utilizing a fidelity correct mock-up in preparation for flight. This course is needed only if docking operations are planned. During this course the SFP will:

  • Be introduced to flight hardware and docking system components, controls, equipment;
  • Become knowledgeable on pre-docking and post departure procedures SFP roles;
  • Demonstrate proper operation of the docking system and equipment in accordance with the operator’s procedures;
  • Be provided with continued practical training leading to mastery of systems and equipment operations.

Launch Vehicle Systems 4: Galley, Health and Hygiene Systems (GT 303)

This course will train the SFP on an operator’s orbital vehicle galley, health and hygiene systems and equipment utilizing fidelity correct mock-ups in preparation for flight. During this course the SFP will:

  • Become familiar with flight hardware, galley, health and hygiene system components, controls and equipment;
  • Demonstrate proper operation of the galley, health and hygiene systems and equipment as applicable in accordance with the operator’s procedures;
  • Be provided with continued practical training leading to mastery of systems and equipment operations.

Launch Vehicle Systems 5: Launch System Architecture (GT 304)

This course will introduce the SFP to an operator’s orbital launch vehicle mission support structure to include Mission Control and launch site operations.

Launch Vehicle Systems 6: Payload and Specialized Systems (GT 305)

This course provides the SFP an introduction to unique payloads or systems installed on the operator’s orbital vehicle utilizing fidelity correct mock-ups in preparation for flight. During this course the SFP will:

  • Be introduced to payload flight hardware and/or specialized system components, controls, equipment;
  • Demonstrate proper operation of the payload and/or specialized systems and equipment in accordance with the operator’s procedures;
  • Be provided with continued practical training leading to mastery of systems and equipment operations.

Completion
Prior to completion of Orbital Launch Vehicle Operations, the SFP will receive a comprehensive instructor lead review followed by a comprehensive practical and written assessment determining level of competency regarding orbital launch operations and associated vehicle operations.

IVA Operations

 

IVA Operations will advance the SFP’s knowledge in extended duration spaceflight physiology and the spaceflight environment to include orbital transitions and vehicle close proximity operations through academic instruction. IVA ground training events will introduce the SFP to operations occurring during a stay on an orbital vehicle of 10 days or more.

IVA activity includes basic and specialized orbital vehicle systems operation utilized by the SFP, exercise protocols, general hygiene and vehicle emergency procedures. Training tasks will bring the SFP from a basic understanding to a knowledgeable and competent skill level through task repetition. During IVA operations the SFP will complete the following courses:

Spaceflight Physiology 2: Extended Spaceflight Effects (PHY 301)

This course will introduce the SFP to physiological issues experienced during extended duration spaceflight. Topics discussed will include:

  • How and why the body reacts during extended spaceflight;
  • Decay of the musculoskeletal system, redistribution of fluids around the body and reduction of aerobic capacity;
  • Effects of microgravity on the cardiovascular systems and degradation of natural senses;
  • Psychological risks, radiation exposure, fatigue and disruption of sleep patterns as result of extended spaceflight;
  • Methods of mitigating physiological decay;
  • Negative psychological effects as a result of extended microgravity exposure.

Spaceflight Physiology 3: Post-flight Effects (PHY 302)

This course will introduce the SFP to physiological effects on the body when returning to a 1 G-force environment after extended exposure to microgravity. Topics discussed during this course include:

  • How and why the body reacts upon return from extended spaceflight;
  • Loads exerted on the musculoskeletal system, orthostatic intolerance and orthostatic hypotension;
  • Psychological risks such as asthenization syndrome;
  • Methods of mitigating physiological and psychological effects as a result of returning to a 1 G-force environment.

Orbital Spaceflight Environment 3: Low Earth Orbit (ENV 302)

This course is designed to familiarize the SFP with the Low Earth Orbit environment. Topics introduced in this course include:

  • Low Earth Orbit spatial boundaries and current operations;
  • Requirement, advantages and limitations of reaching and maintaining Low Earth Orbit;
  • Orbital periods, vehicle velocity and temperature extremes while established in Low Earth Orbit;
  • Re-entry, mission architecture, radiation, and micrometeorite/orbital debris hazards and mitigation measures executed during Low Earth Orbit.

Orbital Vehicle Systems 1: Vehicle Orientation (GT 306)

This course is designed to provide the SFP with an initial orientation to the orbital vehicle. The SFP will become familiar with:

  • The general layout of the orbital vehicle habitat;
  • System interface locations and personal use stations;
  • Living quarters, life support equipment and personal protection equipment.

Orbital Vehicle Systems 2: Life Support Systems (GT 307)

This course will train the SFP on an operator’s orbital vehicle life support systems and equipment utilizing a fidelity correct mock-up in preparation for flight. During the course the SFP will:

  • Become familiar with flight hardware and life support system components, controls and equipment;
  • Demonstrate proper operation of the life support system and equipment in accordance with the operator’s procedures;
  • Be provided with continued practical training leading to mastery of systems and equipment operations.

Orbital Vehicle Systems 3: Environmental Systems (GT 308)

This course will train the SFP on an operator’s orbital vehicle environmental system and equipment utilizing a fidelity correct mock-up in preparation for flight. During the course the SFP will:

  • Become familiar with flight hardware and environmental system components, controls and equipment;
  • Demonstrate proper operation of the environmental system and equipment in accordance with the operator’s procedures;
  • Be provided with continued practical training leading to mastery of systems and equipment operations.

Orbital Vehicle Systems 4: Galley, Health, Hygiene Systems and Living Quarters (GT 309)

This course will train the SFP on the operator’s orbital vehicle galley, health and hygiene systems and personal living space equipment utilizing a fidelity correct mock-up in preparation for flight. During the course the SFP will:

  • Become knowledgeable on flight hardware and galley, health and hygiene system components, controls and equipment;
  • Demonstrate proper operation of the galley, health and hygiene systems and equipment in accordance with the operator’s procedures;
  • Become knowledgeable on personal living quarters, equipment and exercise protocols;
  • Be provided with continued practical training leading to mastery of systems and equipment operations.

Orbital Vehicle Systems 5: Docking Systems (GT 310)

This course will train the SFP on the operator’s orbital vehicle docking system, equipment, post docking and pre-departure procedures utilizing a fidelity correct mock-up in preparation for flight. During the course the SFP will:

  • Become familiar with flight hardware and docking system components, controls and equipment;
  • Become knowledgeable on and demonstrate SFP roles during post docking and pre-departure procedures;
  • Demonstrate proper operation of the docking system and equipment in accordance with the operator’s procedures;
  • Be provided with continued practical training leading to mastery of systems and equipment operations.

Orbital Vehicle Systems 6: Payload and Specialized Systems (GT 311)

This course will train the SFP on unique payloads or systems installed on the operator’s orbital vehicle utilizing fidelity correct mock-ups in preparation for flight. During the course the SFP will:

  • Become familiar with payload flight hardware and/or specialized system components, controls, equipment;
  • Demonstrate proper operation of payloads, specialized systems and equipment in accordance with the operator’s procedures;
  • Be provided with continued practical training leading to mastery of systems and equipment operations.

Orbital Vehicle Emergency Procedures Training and Simulation (GT 312)

This course will train the SFP on emergency procedures in accordance FAA requirements: During the course the SFP will:

  • Be introduced to general and operator’s emergency procedures;
  • Be trained on SFP response to a cabin fire, cabin smoke, loss of cabin pressure and techniques associated with emergency ground egress;
  • Develop a working knowledge of the vehicle operator’s emergency egress procedures, life support and survival equipment (if installed);
  • Perform simulated emergency drills;
  • Be provided with continued practical training leading to mastery of systems and equipment operations.

Spaceflight Dynamics and Control Simulation (GT 313)

During this course the SFP’s will work in a crew and Mission Control environment utilizing nominal procedures executing mission objectives related to orbital operations. During the simulation the SFP will:

  • Work to complete mission objectives;
  • Utilize spacecraft attitude control, propulsion, telemetry and communication systems;
  • Exercise CRM principles and techniques manifested through problem solving;
  • Be provided with continued practical training leading to improvements in operations requiring CRM.

Accelerated G-force Adaptation (FT 300)

The course will subject the SFP to high G-force load effects on the human body coupled by stimulation of the vestibular and visual senses as a result of unusual attitudes. During training the SFP will:

  • Review topics discussed during the Spaceflight Physiology course to include gas laws imposed on the human body, proper mitigation and self-clearing procedures;
  • Review hypoxic experiences during the chamber flight to include the IMSAFE personal checklist;
  • Understand the accelerated G-force flight profile and associated survival equipment used during flight;
  • Be introduced to countermeasures designed to prevent loss of consciousness resulting from accelerated G-force loading;
  • Become familiar with slow and rapid G-force onset in the linear, radial and angular acceleration vectors while exercising physiological G-force countermeasures;
  • Experience gas laws imposed on the human body while exercising proper mitigation and self-clearing procedures.

Microgravity Adaptation (FT 301)

This course will subject the SFP to micro gravity effects on the human body coupled by stimulation of the vestibular and visual senses as a result of unusual attitudes. During the course the SFP will:

  • Review topics discussed during the Spaceflight Physiology course and accelerated G force flights to include the IMSAFE personal checklist;
  • Review microgravity translation techniques presented during pressure suit operations;
  • Be introduced to periods of microgravity and demonstrate microgravity operations;
  • Become knowledgeable of physiological effects associated with changes in gravity;
  • Exercise recovery from unusual attitudes and demonstrate proper translation techniques.

Completion
Prior to completion of IVA Operations, the SFP will receive a comprehensive instructor lead review followed by a comprehensive practical and written assessment determining level of competency regarding IVA and associated vehicle operations.

EVA Operations

 

EVA Operations will provide the SFP with specialized training focusing on planned EVA tasks and contingent operations. SFP EVA training will include advanced pressure suit operations, translation techniques, EVA tools and crew aids, procedure execution and EVA flight rules and protocols.

Training tasks will bring the SFP from a basic understanding to a knowledgeable and competent skill level through task repetition. During EVA operations the SFP will compete the following courses:

Spaceflight Physiology 4: EVA Physiology (PHY 303)

This course will introduce the SFP to physiological issues, considerations, hazards and mitigation to prepare and execute an EVA. The SFP will gain an understanding of:

  • Spinal elongation;
  • Decompression Sickness;
  • Physical ailments exhibited during EVA;
  • Micrometeorite risks, radiation exposure and fatigue.

Orbital Spaceflight Environment 4: EVA Environment (ENV 303)

This course will introduce the SFP to the environment experienced during EVA to include hazards and mitigation techniques.

Orbital Spaceflight Environment 5: EVA Operations (ENV 304)

This course will introduce the SFP to the EVA operational environment to include the operator’s mission support architecture, use of procedures, translation techniques, protocols and flight rules.

EVA Systems 1: EVA Pressure Suit (GT 314)

This course will introduce the SFP to EVA pressure suit fit, form and function preparing the SFP for EVA. During the course the SFP will:

  • Be properly fitted in the EVA pressure suit used by the operator during orbital flight;
  • Become familiar with the proper nomenclature of EVA pressure suit hardware at the top assembly level;
  • Become familiar with associated ancillary items used for comfort;
  • Develop a working knowledge of IVA and EVA don and doff procedures, suit operations and suit safety precautions;
  • Perform a suit sizing evaluation to determine any adjustments needed in fit;
  • Be evaluated for mobility.

EVA Systems 2: Tools and Crew Aids (GT 315)

This course will train the SFP on the operator’s EVA tools and crew aid equipment designed and used for EVA utilizing fidelity correct mock-ups and hardware in preparation and execution for EVA. During the course the SFP will:

  • Become familiar with EVA flight hardware, restraint devices and safety equipment;
  • Be instructed on and demonstrate proper operation of the EVA tools and crew aid equipment in accordance with the operator’s IVA and EVA procedures;
  • Introduced to and become knowledgeable on EVA preparation protocols;
  • Be provided with continued practical training leading to mastery of systems and equipment operations.

EVA Systems 3: Airlock Systems and Operation (GT 316)

This course will train the SFP on the operator’s orbital vehicle airlock systems and equipment utilizing a fidelity correct mock-up in preparation for EVA. During the course the SFP will:

  • Become knowledgeable on hardware, airlock systems components, controls and equipment;
  • Demonstrate proper operation of the airlock systems and equipment in accordance with the operator’s IVA and EVA procedures;
  • Become knowledgeable on EVA preparation protocols;
  • Be provided with continued practical training leading to mastery of systems and equipment operations.

EVA Systems 4: IVA Nominal Procedures (GT 317)

This course will train the SFP on procedures and protocols used IVA to prepare for EVA utilizing fidelity correct mock-ups. During the course the SFP will:

  • Become knowledgeable on flight hardware and IVA procedures used pre and post EVA;
  • Demonstrate gathering of EVA hardware from stowed locations and proper operation of airlock systems;
  • Demonstrate EVA pressure suit preparation, EVA pressure suit preparation, ingress and egress;
  • Demonstrate pre-EVA physiological protocols, depressurization and re-pressurization in accordance with the operator’s IVA procedures;
  • Be provided with continued practical training leading to mastery of systems and equipment operations.

EVA Systems 4: IVA Emergency Procedures (GT 318)

This course will train the SFP on execution of emergency procedures and protocols used IVA to respond to EVA emergencies utilizing fidelity correct mock-ups. During the course the SFP will:

  • Become knowledgeable on EVA flight hardware and IVA emergency procedures used pre, during and post EVA;
  • Demonstrate emergency operation of airlock systems, EVA pressure suit emergency egress and emergency re-pressurization protocols in accordance with the operator’s IVA emergency procedures;
  • Be provided with continued practical training leading to mastery of systems and equipment operations.

EVA Systems 5: EVA Nominal Procedures (GT 319)

This course will train the SFP on execution of nominal EVA procedures. During the course the SFP will:

  • Become knowledgeable on planned EVA procedures;
  • Demonstrate proper translation routes, techniques and keep out zones;
  • Be provided with continued practical training leading to mastery of systems and equipment operations.

EVA Systems 6: EVA Emergency Procedures (GT 320)

This course will train the SFP on execution of emergency procedures and protocols used to respond to EVA emergencies utilizing fidelity correct mock-ups. During the course the SFP will:

  • Become knowledgeable on flight hardware and EVA emergency procedures used during EVA;
  • Demonstrate emergency procedure operations of the EVA pressure suit and emergency vehicle ingress in accordance with the operator’s EVA emergency procedures;
  • Be introduced to and instructed on incapacitated rescue techniques and procedures;
  • Be provided with continued practical training leading to mastery of systems and equipment operations.

EVA Systems 7: EVA Simulation (GT 321)

This course will prepare the SFP for the planned EVA utilizing fidelity correct mock-ups in a neutrally buoyant or neutral gravity environment simulating microgravity procedures for orbital EVA or terrestrial based facility if performing lunar EVA. During the course the SFP will:

  • Review topics covered during Nominal Procedures to include EVA objectives;
  • Don and perform an operational check of the operator’s EVA pressure suit then enter the neutrally buoyant or neutral gravity environment;
  • Perform the planned nominal EVA procedure while incorporating emergency procedures and incapacitated rescue;
  • Exercise CRM principles and techniques focusing on critical communication training;
  • Be provided with continued practical training leading to mastery of systems and equipment operations.

Completion
Prior to completion of EVA Operations, the SFP will receive a comprehensive instructor lead procedure review followed by a comprehensive assessment determining level of competency in the EVA environment.