In the first episode of our ‘Fit for space’ training series, ESA astronauts Samantha Cristoforetti and Luca Parmitano share how crewmembers prepare for their journey to the International Space Station in the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
Training for the critical moments of Soyuz spaceflight – launch, ascent, docking and landing – take place at Roscosmos’ Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre (GCTC) in Star City, Russia. Here, astronauts use sophisticated Soyuz simulators to practice procedures and respond to emergency situations.
The Soyuz simulators at GCTC are designed to act and be operated in exactly the same way as the spacecraft itself. Astronauts must demonstrate their proficiency in manually controlling the Soyuz to prepare for the unlikely event that automated and ground-based operations fail.
They also prepare for emergency events that could occur onboard the International Space Station itself.