SPACEFLIGHT COURSES AT THE GCTC. TRAIN LIKE A REAL COSMONUAT.
Welcome to the Flight Club spaceflight training course tutorial.
Travel with us to Star City Russia and train like a cosmonaut. Your exclusive opportunity to participate in spaceflight training courses administered at he Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre (GCTC).
This page explains how civilian participants can engage into spaceflight training courses, who these courses are intended for, shows a video of what to expect during your spaceflight training, provides an overview regarding core- and auxiliary components of the training, explains various course formats in detail, explains all booking procedures and associated trip prices. Last but not least, we have all the answers to FAQs.
FORCED-LANDING SURVIVAL TRAINING
Today it is time for a well deserved break from all the high-tech and you are in for a change of scenery. We'll be heading into the woods for a training session in survival techniques following an emergency landing of the Soyuz capsule.
The exercise will teach you how to establish contact to the rescue team and how to survive in independent autonomous condition in the wilderness until the search and rescue crew has successfully located and extracted you.
Varying geographical and climatic factors make survival training a real test of your organizational skills, endurance, determination, leadership traits and of your ability to team-work. To be successful in this task, you need to demonstrate a sound decision making process and effective time management in difficult situations.
Today's session will focus on forced landing scenarios occurring in woodland regions. The training is geared towards the applicable survival strategies for these type environments.
You can upgrade this experience with additional survival training modules focused specifically on desert- and winter climate and on water landings.
GCTC SPACEFLIGHT TRAINING VIDEO
Training like a real cosmonaut. Curious what it' s like? Check out the GCTC spaceflight training video for a sneak preview!
GCTC SPACEFLIGHT TRAINING -
ADMISSION OF CIVILIAN PARTICIPANTS
You must have been wondering how come that civilian participates are being accepted into spaceflight training programs at the GCTC, the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre.
As you certainly know, the future of manned spaceflight in general and the future of civilian space travel in particular, depend largely on continued funding by corporate entities and by private investors willing to ratify the risks inherently involved.
To promote this kind of engagement, the Russian Space Agency administers cosmonaut training courses for civilian participants of any Nationality at the GCTC in Star City Russia.
GCTC SPACEFLIGHT TRAINING COURSE -
Spaceflight training courses are demanding and challenging by nature and are intended for the following target audiences:
flight control experts and pilots interested in enhancing their professional qualifications, scientists conducting research, crew members and enlisted passengers of suborbital flight projects which are currently in the development or testing phase and for civilian space flight enthusiasts who always dreamed about training like a real cosmonaut.
GCTC SPACEFLIGHT TRAINING COURSE -
CORE COMPONENTS OVERVIEW
IMBP medical examination, simulator training sessions (incl. Soyuz-TMA, Vykhod-2, TDK-7ST N1 & N2, Don-732, Tele-operator, ISS mock-ups, Orlan-DMA space-suit), Ts-F18 centrifuge testing, hydro-space laboratory training, IL-76 MDK zero gravity parabola flight, post-landing survival training.
GCTC SPACEFLIGHT TRAINING COURSE -
AUXILIARY COMPONENTS OVERVIEW
Guided sight-seeing tours and various excursion offering an intimate behind-the-scenes look into the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre, the Mission Control Centre Korolov, the Monino Airforce Museum and the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics.
GCTC SPACEFLIGHT TRAINING -
CHOOSING A COURSE FORMAT
All Flight Club adventure trips are custom-tailored events.
Hence, when participating in spaceflight training with us, you can choose between several different course formats for your training:
go through the entire 'spaceflight XL 'course curriculum in 10 days or
combine several core components of your interest into a condensed 5 day format or into a shortened 3 day format of the course, or
take it one step at a time and isolate any single core component for a focused one day exercise.
Following, we will walk you through the entire course curriculum, as it is applicable to the 10 day format of the 'spaceflight XL' course.
After reading through this curriculum, you will be familiar with the sequence of events and also have gained significant insight into the training process for each core element of the curriculum:
GCTC SPACEFLIGHT TRAINING XXL -
ARRIVAL TO MOSCOW;
CITY SIGHT-SEEING TOUR
Upon your arrival at any of the Moscow international airports, your personal guide/ multi-lingual translator will pick you up and escort you to your hotel in Moscow city.
Once you are check-in and settled, we'll take you out and show you around town, visiting some of the city's more popular tourist sights: the Red Square, Alexander Gardens, Lenin's Tomb, the GUM shopping mall, St. Basil cathedral, New Convent, the Kremlin, Arbat and Poklonnaya Hill.
LECTURE HISTORY OF MANNED SPACEFLIGHT;
IMBP MEDICAL PART 1
After an early breakfast in the hotel, we'll pick you up and drive together to Star City. It's about a 40 minutes drive, depending on traffic. Once we have arrived, we'll take you on a tour around the GCTC territory and attend an introductory presentation regarding the history of manned spaceflight.
After lunch, it's time for the IMBP medical check. As you might imagine, it involves a fairly thorough examination of both, your physical and mental well being. The procedure is certain to keep you entertained until the evening. Once it's all said and done, you'll receive a medical certificate confirming that you are fit for spaceflight training.
In the evening, we'll head back into town and drop you off at your hotel for the night.
LECTURE PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF SPACEFLIGHT;
IMBP MEDICAL PART 2
We'll pick you up at the hotel and drive back to the GCTC for an early start. Upon our arrival, we'll drop you off right where you left things yesterday ... at the doctor's. This time around, for a lecture on the psychological aspects evolving around manned spaceflight.
After lunch, the medical team will test your physical level of readiness as is required for crew members onboard any space craft. If everything checks out, you'll receive a medical certificate stating that you are fit for manned spaceflight.
Once all test have been finalized, we'll bring you back to Moscow into your hotel for some well deserved idle-time.
PLANETARIUM: LECTURE ON PRINCIPLES OF ASTRO-NAVIGATION;
DON-SOYUZ-TMA SIMULATOR MANUAL DOCKING SEQUENCE ISS
Following the by now familiar morning commute, your day at the GCTC will start out with a visit to the Planetarium, where you'll attend a presentation and receive some training regarding the core principles of astro-navigation.
The planetarium is 12.5 m in diameter and can project star constellations with a 6.6 magnitude, creating the illusion of watching the celestial sphere from outside the earth's atmosphere. To top things off, the planetarium features several mock-ups of different space-craft, simulating real-life flight dynamics with moving star constellations outside the windows.
After lunch, you'll attend a lecture concerning construction and assembly detail of the International Space Station (ISS). Once you have gained a solid understanding and outfitted with a Sokol pressure suit, you'll spend the remainder of the day in the pilot seat of the Don-Soyuz-TMA simulator, trying to dock your space-craft with the ISS. By the way, while this procedure is computer guided and can be accomplished by engaging an autopilot - you'll be flying manually utilizing joystick controls today - just to keep it real. During the exercise, you will learn to manually control the Soyuz TMA spacecraft during approach, docking and undocking from the ISS module in standard-, off-standard and emergency scenarios.
CF-7 CENTRIFUGE 3-STAGE TESTING;
ASTRONAUT FOOD AND NUTRITION
After breakfast in the hotel we'll pack up and drive back to Star City for another action-packed day at the GCTC. Upon arrival, your instructors will give a briefing and then, it is time to verify your physical level of readiness for space travel in earnest, that is, during a series of centrifuge CF-7 tests.
The CF-7 centrifuge is being used to familiarize cosmonauts with the working conditions onboard the Soyuz during its flight to and from the ISS. To facilitate this, the CF-7 can simulate longitudinal g-loads, physiological micro-gravity, low cabin pressure, different cabin temperatures, humidity factors and variable gas composition.
There are three stages to this exercise:
It all starts with a familiarization round which lasts approximately 3 minutes. The 2nd stage simulates flight conditions on the way into orbit and lasts for about 9 minutes. During the 4 minute long 3rd stage of the centrifuge tests, you will come to find out what it's like inside the Soyuz capsule while returning from orbit.
Cosmonauts training in the CF-7 are bearing a maximum load of 5g 'head-waist' and 8g for 'chest-back' direction.
After completion of the CF-7 centrifuge test series, it is time for lunch- in case you really still feel like eating.
Food is also the big topic for the remainder of the afternoon, You'll be learning all about nutrition a cosmonaut really needs to know. What kind of food is being used, how it is packaged, how to cook it and what special tools you require in the process and finally, how to ration the supplies. Of course, you'll get a chance to prepare your very own space meal and you are very welcome to find out what it tastes like as well.
The day concludes with a full mission briefing on tomorrow's high-light event, the zero gravity parabola flight onboard the IL-76 MDK.
IL-76 MDK ZERO GRAVITY PARABOLA FLIGHT;
VYKHOD-2 SIMULATOR TRAINING
It's another full day and we'll pick you up at 07.00 am in your hotel for the morning commute. Today we'll head straight out to the Chkalovsky airfield, home of the giant Ilyushin 76 MDK. The Il-76 MDK wide-body aircraft is an unique flying laboratory which can create short-term weightless conditions onboard. To achieve this, the IL-76 MDK embarks on a Kepler curve flight pattern:
The Ilyushin IL-76 climbs with full thrust and at a 45 degree angle to an altitude of approximately 20,000 ft AGL, before taking the power out and going nose over. From that moment on, everything and everybody inside the plane is "floating" weightlessly, that is, until about 25 seconds later, when the IL-76 MDK is transitioning from its nose dive into yet another steep ascent (hence the nick-name "parabola flight).
While experiencing weightlessness on the downward slope of he parabola, passengers onboard the IL-76 MDK are exposed to 2G inside the cabin at the transition points from descent to ascent and during the actual climb-phase back to 20,000 ft AGL.
Your pilot will repeat this Kepler curve pattern 12-15 times, thus
creating weightlessness for a total of approximately 7 minutes over the 1.5 hour course of the entire zero-G flight experience.
After lunch, we'll return to the GCTC for some Vykhod-2 simulator time. The Vykhod-2 (translated 'spacewalk') is a special purpose simulator comprised of two types of Orlan space suits, airlock mock-ups, computer systems simulating light-/ shadow conditions, ground life support- and communications systems as well as TV- and medical monitoring systems.
Its purpose is to allow for studies of the design and use of Orlan type EVA space-suits and to allow for realistic practice of operations in and around airlock systems of the ISS. During this training session, you will study the design and lay-out of Orlan type space-suits, learn how to prepare the suit for use, how to maintain and to repair it. Finally, you will operate the suit in nominal- and off-nominal situations while controlling the air locking facility.
MISSION CONTROL CENTER KOROLOV CITY;
MONINO AIR-FORCE MUSEUM
After spending all day yesterday in the wilderness, this morning we are back in civilization for a visit of the Mission Control Centre in Korolev city. You will get the chance to hang out in the MIR space station flight control room and the flight control room of the ISS.
In the afternoon, we will visit the Monino Air Force Museum which has on display the entire history of Russian and Soviet aviation, starting from 1909. The Monino Air Force Museum fields an impressive collection of 37,000 aircraft, unique photographs and rare documents.
HYDRO-SPACE NEUTRAL BUOYANCY LABORATORY TRAINING;
SOYUZ-TMA FLIGHT TDK 7ST N1 & N2 SIMULATOR TRAINING;
Another action-packed day at he GCTC lays ahead of you. A good portion of the day, you'll be spending time submerged in the legendary hydro-space neutral buoyancy laboratory. The giant 22m diameter and 12 m deep tank features full-scale mock-ups of the Russian segment of the space station and the Soyuz MS module.
Here, under simulated weightless conditions, cosmonauts acquire the skills necessary to conduct extravehicular activities on the outside surface of the ISS. During the exercise, you'll be outfitted with a mock-up version of the Orlan-M EVA suit. The only difference to the real thing, is that your suit does not feature an independent life-support system. The air you breath and water circulation controlling your body temperature inside the suit are being controlled and provided by the laboratory's "beach systems".
Your mission today:
exit out of an ISS airlock mock-up and, using a security hook attached to a steel cable, make your way over to another segment of the ISS to install a space antenna!
Your afternoon won't be any less exciting, as you will practice the control of the Soyuz-TM over the course of an entire space-flight mission, utilizing complex TDK 7ST N1 & N2 simulators. The exercise covers standard, non-standard and emergency procedures during all stages of the Soyuz TMA flight:
pre-launch preparations, launch sequence, entering orbit, orbital manoeuvring, approach and docking sequence with the ISS, joint flight with the ISS, un-docking procedure, re-entering orbit, landingand post landing final operations. Simulations can be run in real time and in accelerated time-mode.
MEMORIAL MUSEUM OF COSMONAUTICS;
AWARD CEREMONY AT GCTC
It is the last day of your spaceflight training course and we'll use it to reflect with a visit to the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics, which is jam-packed with rockets and space-craft. Be advised that at the time of writing, the museum is undergoing a major overhaul with plans for relocation into a new setup in Moscow city. Depending on the prevailing circumstances at the time of your booking, we will improvise accordingly.
We will then head back to the GCTC for an award ceremony with the instructors and staff where you will be presented a certificate in honour of your exceptional achievement. If you let us, we'd like to invite you for a last formal dinner with the specialists and instructors of the GCTC and Star City.
CHECK-OUT AND DEPARTURE
It's the end of your spaceflight training course and we will visit you one last time in your hotel in Moscow to say "thank you" and farewell. In case you are leaving the Russian Federation today, we will give you a ride back to any of the Moscow international airports for your departing flight.
| COURSE CURRICULUM
|| COURSE DURATION
|| PRICE IN EUR
| CF-7 CENTRIFUGE TEST
|| 1 DAY
| HYDRO-LAB TRAINING
|| 1 DAY
| ORLAN EVA SUIT TEST
|| 1 DAY
| SOYUZ TMA SIMULATOR
|| 1 DAY
| DON-SOYUZ DOCKING
|| 1 DAY
| ISS-MOCKUP TRAINING
|| 1 DAY
| POST-LANDING SURVIVAL
|| 3 DAYS
| ZERO-G SINGLE SEAT
|| 1 DAY
| ZERO-G ENTIRE LOAD
|| 1 DAY
| SPACEFLIGHT XL COURSE
|| 10 DAYS
GCTC SPACEFLIGHT TRAINING COURSES
NOTE: spaceflight training course prices may be subject to change without prior notice. For a detailed quote, please contact us with your personal choice of core- and auxiliary training components.
GCTC SPACEFLIGHT TARINING -
To book any spaceflight training course at the GCTC, please fill in the initial booking request form including the number of participants, your preferred course dates and course format (10 day 'spaceflight xxl 'curriculum or any custom selection of course core- and auxiliary components) and your selection of custom upgrades (such as accommodation, VIP transit assistance, visa support etc.).
Once we have received your initial booking request, we will contact you for passport copies of all travellers and for the GCTC spaceflight training participant questionnaire to forward your detail to our service partners in Moscow for a final review. After they come back to us with a confirmation regarding your requested course detail, we will contact you with specific travel dates, send you a service contract and payment instructions.
Please remember, that we do need a 65 day min. lead-up time once we have received your passport copies, in order to organize the required visas and associated security clearances for the GCTC.
GCTC SPACEFLIGHT TRAINING COURSES-
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Are there any other places in he world where I can train like a real cosmonaut?
A: No. There is only one place in the world where civilian participants can train like a cosmonaut and that is at the GCTC, Russia. The Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre was built to support manned spaceflight missions, space exploration activities, space engineering, cosmonaut training, as well as ensuring cosmonauts' safety in space and providing post-flight rehabilitation programs for cosmonauts.
Q: How serious are the IMBP medical checks?
A: As these test are supposed to determine your physical and mental state of readiness to participate in spaceflight training sessions, they are thorough.
Q: Is there an age limit?
A: Yes. You must be between 18 and 60 years of age to participate in spaceflight training programs at the GCTC.
However, we can discuss your personal case if you do indeed fall outside of these parameters.
Q: Are there any height and/ or weight restrictions for passengers?
A: Yes there are. Depending on your selection of spaceflight training core components, participants should not be taller than 205 cm and/ or heavier than 110 kg.
Q: Do I need a pilot license?
A: No, you do not need a pilot license to participate in civilian spaceflight training programs at the GCTC.
Q: How physically demanding are these spaceflight training activities?
A: Depending on what core components you choose to participate in during your training. Some activities are physically extremely challenging, others are not.
Q: Do you provide accident insurance?
A: yes, of course. We arrange for a special policy covering any accident which might occur during your time with us.
Q: Do you provide visa support for entry into the Russian Federation?
A: visa support is automatically included in the 10 day cosmonaut training course. Of course, we gladly assist in arranging for the necessary visa upon request if you did choose to participate in select activities only. Prices for visas may vary as they depend on selected processing times at he embassy, and thus, the lead-up time of your request for visa assistance.
Q: If I choose to select individual training activities only, how much time do I need to complete the task?
A: Depending on your selection. Some of the core training components can be completed in a one day session.
Q: What types of payment methods do you accept?
A: You can pay via electronic funds transfer into our foreign currency account. Your payment is due in full no later than 45 days prior to your scheduled training date.
Q: What types of service guarantees do you provide?
A: Flight Club service partners in Russia are recognized tour operators in the Russian Federation and listed in the public Registry of Tour Operators # MBT 010053. Accordingly, all our clients are protected by the Russian government with a mandatory minimum insurance amount of USD 1,000,000.00 for all types of risk factors involving touristic activities.
Q: What is your cancellation policy in case my cosmonaut training course is cancelled due to mistakes on your side?
A: we give you a full refund on all payments made within 30 days.
Q: What is your cancellation policy, change of travel dates policy in case I cannot travel as agreed because I get sick?
A: If you wish to cancel your trip entirely or if you wish to change your travel dates, the refund amount you are entitled to depends on how long before your scheduled zero-G flight dates you notify us:
> 15 days prior: we refund 70% of your payment
< 15 days but > 5 days prior: we refund 55 % of your payment
< 5 days but > 3 days prior: we refund 35 % of your payment
</= 3 days prior: there will not be any refund paid
Any refund payments will be sent to the originating account within 30 days of receipt of your written request to cancel or postpone your trip. For more detail, please review our payment and refund policy.
Q: What is the minimum lead-up time required to process my booking?
A: Foreign guests registering for the entire 10 day cosmonaut training course need to allow for min. 65 days lead-up time in order to organize the required permissions, visas and security clearances. If you wish to participate in select activities only, the required lead-up time might be shorter.
Q: What about training dates? Can I train like an astronaut anytime I like?
A: No. Your training dates and schedule will be determined by the GCTC and depend largely on the selected core components you wish to go through during your training.
Q: How many people can train per day?
A: Depending on which core components you have selected for your cosmonaut training program. Some training activities can be arranged for multiple participants in a single day, others can accommodate only one trainee at a time.
Q: Does Flight Club sell gift certificates for select core components of the cosmonaut training program at the GCTC?
A: yes we do ;)
Q: Can I bring friends and family to the GCTC?
A: If you let us know, we can arrange the necessary permits for friends and or family members to accompany you to select destinations of the GCTC complex.
Should you have any unanswered questions regarding our spaceflight training course at the GCTC, please feel free to send us an inquiry or speak to us directly using the live chat feature on this site.