The concept of astronaut derives from the English word astronaut. The term refers to an individual who is able to man a spaceship (a vehicle that can get out of the atmosphere of the Land and fly in outer space).
Astronauts, also called cosmonauts, they must have extensive technical knowledge, but also with an optimal physical condition and a healthy psychological scheme to support the living conditions in the aircraft and on space stations.
The first person in moving to outer space was a Russian astronaut: Yuri gagarin (1934-1968). This astronaut traveled the April 12, 1961 in the ship Vostok 1, making a flight of 108 minutes.
Beyond the enormous achievement of Gagarin And from the Soviet authorities, it can be said that the most famous astronauts in history are three Americans: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin Y Michael collins, ship’s crew Apollo 11 that allowed the arrival of the human being to the Moon. ArmstrongIn this way, he was the first human to step on the natural satellite of the Land, followed by Aldrin (Collins remained on the ship).
It should be noted that the activities carried out in orbit generate various effects on the organism of the astronauts. Weightlessness can cause nausea, dizziness, and vomiting. When they are in space for a long time, astronauts lose muscle mass, their immune systems are weakened and they experience sleep disorders, among other complications.
In space, on the other hand, astronauts have difficulty executing certain movements with precision, they may suffer from asthenia (fatigue or general weakness that makes it difficult or impossible to carry out certain tasks that are easy under other conditions) and they often present a state of irritability.
Astronaut training and requirements
Many children dream of becoming astronauts. However, like other vocations that appear during childhood, its implementation requires a very hard work of preparation that only some can overcome.
Becoming an astronaut is not impossible, but very difficult: Japan, Canada, ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA, among other countries and agencies, select their candidates with great rigor. Before deciding to go through training, it is necessary to know that there are two categories to which we can aspire within this profession: that of pilot and that of specialist.
Broadly speaking, all candidates who have completed university studies are asked, although each specialist must have specific knowledge.
In the United States, pilots working in the army They take priority over civilians when applying for a similar position at NASA. They must have a minimum of a thousand flight hours on their service record and be taller than 1.63 and less than 1.93 meters.
Among the most common university degrees of specialists are those of engineering in physics, biology, chemistry, and mathematics. In addition, the requirement of a doctorate is common to guarantee the highest possible academic rank.
The physical requirements to perform as an astronaut are perfect vision, a blood pressure value above 14 and measuring between 1.49 and 1.93 meters. With regard to age, the range is very narrow, since it includes a range that goes from 27 to 37 years (in the case of Program Shuttle, the maximum is 35).
Needless to say, the filter is exhaustive. However, going through it is only the beginning: the training that aspiring astronauts must follow can last up to eight years, and comprises both a theoretical and a practical part. They must learn scientific concepts that allow them to understand and operate the different devices, as well as learn to move effectively in zero-gravity environments.