Station Systems Training
When a crewmember
is assigned to a space flight, a Crew Qualifications and Responsibility
Matrix is created. This document contains information about what
each crewmember will be doing during his or her mission. The training
staff in Russia and the United States uses this document to determine
whether a crewmember will be an operator or a specialist for each
of the station's systems. An operator only needs to know how to
work a piece of equipment -- such as the station's laptop computer
-- or how to send a command to a station system: for instance, how
to raise the temperature in a module. A specialist needs to know
how to fix a problem with the computer or repair the system that
controls the station's temperature.
on the space station -- electrical, heating and cooling, communications,
etc. -- has a separate training plan for operators and specialists.
All crewmembers must know enough about every station system to be
at least an operator. Being a specialist takes more training though,
so you will only be a specialist on a few systems, while your crewmates
will become specialists for the other systems.
crew will be assigned a training team. These are the people who
will teach you everything you need to know to have a successful
mission. The Station Training Lead is in charge of the team. This
person is a former instructor with many years of experience teaching
astronauts and cosmonauts. The team has one instructor for each
of the eight main station systems. The team also has instructors
for the scientific experiments you will be doing aboard the space
station and other instructors to teach you how to do a spacewalk
in case you need to go outside during your time at the space station.
You may also go to Canada to learn how to work the space station's
robotic arm, the Canadarm2, if you'll need the arm during your mission.
You will also learn how to take care of another crewmember if that
person gets sick or injured -- completing this training qualifies
you to be a crew medical officer.
You will have
to work very hard to learn everything you need to know in just 18
months, but you know you can do it -- you learned how to study in
high school and practiced those techniques in college and graduate
school. The only difference is that everything you're learning about
the space station may one day save your life or the life of one
of your crewmates.