"Last week I had a rather remarkable experience: I flew into space in Pennsylvania. Well, almost. I attended a three day Suborbital Scientist Training Program conducted by The NASTAR Center. The program includes altitude chamber exposure to hypoxia, training and multiple rides in a centrifuge including full-acceleration simulations of a ride aboard Virgin Galactic's SpaceShip Two, and classes on physiology, physics, and operations."
Future Scientist-Astronauts and Educator-Astronauts Receive Training at NASTAR Center, Commercial Spaceflight Federation
"The National Aerospace Training and Research Center (NASTAR) in Southampton, PA, a member of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, welcomed last week its latest set of future scientist-astronauts and educator-astronauts for training. Participants are training to conduct scientific research while flying onboard commercial suborbital spacecraft such as those operated by Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, XCOR Aerospace, and Armadillo Aerospace."
"Keith Cowing, a Board of Directors member of the Challenger Center for Space Education and well-known space journalist, remarked, "Based on my NASTAR experience (centrifuge & altitude chamber), ANYONE in good health with good training can fly to space. These new suborbital vehicles will inaugurate a new era for education and science, and I'm excited to cover it just as its true potential starts to unfold."
NASTAR: Day 1 - SkyHigh, Ben McGee
NASTAR: Day 2 - UnderPressure, Ben McGee
NASTAR: Day 3 - The FullMonty, Ben McGee
"It was particularly excitingfor me, looking at my training-mates who each appeared to stand a little taller, (even if only due to our spinal columns having been spread outunder high-g,) to notethat many if noteach ofmy classmateswill likelyhave flowninto space (becomingtrue astronauts) in the next few years. We each were standing amongst the pioneers of a new chapter in spaceflight, and I consider myself quite fortunate to have been able to take part."