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Flight training


How do you prepare astronauts for space flight? By putting them in as many challenging situations as possible. Flying provides extreme conditions similar to those experienced in orbit.

All astronauts must learn to fly a plane. Some astronauts already have experience as a pilot; their training program is adjusted according to their background and skill level.

From sky to space

Canadian astronauts Jeremy Hansen and David Saint-Jacques explain why piloting planes is an integral part of astronaut training. (Credit: Canadian Space Agency)


Piloting a plane provides excellent preparation for the conditions experienced in space flight:

As Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen explains, flight simulators are excellent training devices, but the astronauts get to head home safely at the end of the day.

Jeremy Hansen and David Saint-Jacques took part in a training flight

Jeremy Hansen and David Saint-Jacques participate in a training flight at 4 Wing in Cold Lake, Alberta. (Credit: Private Laura Brophy, Canadian Armed Forces)

In contrast, dangerous situations encountered in real life force pilots to develop:

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