Spaceflight Training Program Gets FAA Approval

Waypoint 2 Space wants to teach you how to be an astronaut.

Head in the stars lately? Soon your body could join, but it will need some lessons first. Earlier this week, Waypoint 2 Space, a commercial spaceflight training company, received FAA safety approval for programs set to begin later this spring. The company joins a growing industry of programs and services for those hoping to catch a ride on private spaceships.

Waypoint 2 Space’s multi-level training program includes fundamentals, like being able to operate in confined spaces, wear a pressure suit, and adapt to microgravity; suborbital training, which “prepares the participant to take full advantage of the 5 to 7 minutes of weightlessness” during a spaceflight; and finally the eight-week orbital training, which will be available in 2015 and teaches students how to deal with the physical and psychological challenges of prolonged spaceflight.

The price may be steep ($45,000), but it’s 18 percent of the price of a ticket on Virgin Galactic. Prospective astronaut trainees need not have a ticket to space booked, though. The program is currently based out of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, where it collaborates with NASA.