When training for a long tour of duty aboard the International Space Station, astronauts spend many months away from their homeland, globetrotting between Canada, the United States, Europe, Russia and Japan. They learn all that needs to be learned about the orbiting laboratory, the Soyuz spacecraft and the tasks specific to the mission.
Part of the astronauts' training takes place at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas and the Canadian Space Agency headquarters in Saint-Hubert, Quebec.
The astronauts also train in Star City, home to the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonauts Training Centre, where they focus on the Soyuz spacecraft that will carry them to and from the International Space Station.
Preparations begin with basic training in the use of the robotic arm at the Canadian Space Agency headquarters in Saint-Hubert, Quebec. Once assigned to a station flight, most of their Canadarm2 preparations take place at NASA's Johnson Space Center, using a combination of engineering simulators and a virtual reality training lab.
Astronauts arrive at the International Space Station prepared to lead an assortment of spacewalks—activities outside the orbiting science laboratory intended to keep it safe for its six astronauts and productive for a growing number of science experiments.
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