I spent 2 days doing space
flight simulation training in a giant centrifuge at NASTAR, where
they do a lot of training of fighter pilots, astronauts and also
customers who are preparing to go into space with Richard Branson's
Virgin Galactic. The first day was spent building up tolerances
to extreme G-forces and the second day we did full scale simulations
of X-Prize winner Space Ship One.
The acceleration is hard to
describe, but imagine having an elephant sitting on your chest.
We had to learn AGSM (Anti G Straining Maneuvers) and special
breathing techniques in order to help endure the G-forces without
Here are some of the statistics:
The centrifuge uses a 4000
Horsepower DC motor
I achieved 3.5 G's in the vertical
axis and 6 G's in the horizontal - Twice as much as a Space Shuttle
The simulation took me up to
Mach 4 and to an altitude of 360,000 feet !!!!