My good friend and fellow Space nerd Gary Kramer came with me for the event.
This was a big group picture of everyone, about 300 Future Astronauts. Richard Branson is up front, I'm way in the back. Gary was taking pictures up front but then realized his sunglasses were missing in the pic he's off to the right turning around looking for them.
How they are getting us to space is an innovative plan. Following on the foot steps of the Space Shuttle Knight I actually carries Space Ship II to 50,000 Ft where it releases SSII the rockets ignite and propel the space ship into low earth orbit.
That’s where the G-Forces come in. The rocket powered ride will exert about 3.5 to 4 G’s. That’s is about as much as the astronauts feel when the Space Shuttle would take off. G force is a measurement of acceleration felt as weight. When the rocket is cut there will be amazing silence and 7 minutes to un buckle from the seat and experience weightlessness. It would be nice to bring my bathroom scale with me just for that moment. After enjoying the micro gravity we strap back in for re-entry glide. Glide sounds nice and smooth but we will be again being exposed to up to 6 G’s on re-entry into the atmosphere.
Before the space flight we undergo three days of training, safety training, zero gravity training as well as G-Force training. There are techniques to deal with this and not letting the G-Forces make the blood rush out of your head and passing out.
Since this is a new program and everything is being developed from scratch, the medical team is also working on their criteria for passengers. I have high blood pressure, genetic gift from my ancestors. What I found is the program needed volunteers for medical studies on G- Forces and high blood pressure.
Sounds like my kind of thing! I could be an experimental space monkey.
So next week I will be at the NASTAR (National Aerospace Training and Research Center) facility in Philadelphia PA for 2 days of medical studies, and being spun around in a G-force centrifuge. I will make sure and send pictures and reports.
Participating in these types of activities really make me feel like I am doing some pioneering and helping to build something for the future, and allowing myself to just be the monkey.