What is it like to be an Astronaut?

Training underwater

Training underwater

By Yessica Casias

Imagine traveling beyond the parameters of planet Earth into a universe filled with unknowns. Astronauts get to do this. College of Southern Nevada’s show called “Astronaut” playing through Oct. 25 at The Planetarium gives a glimpse into this life.

CSN’s Planetarium Manager Andrew Kerr gives an overview of “Astronaut”. “[It] is a show about what it is like to train to go into space and the effects of space on the human body. It has stunning visuals and is very appealing in that way, but it is also very educational not just about space but also about the life sciences. It is the kind of show that can appeal to everyone.”

Astronauts prepare physically and also emotionally as going into outer space is not an easy task.

Dr. David Batchelor, astronomy professor at CSN, says, “Astronauts have commented that the survival training they undergo in case of an emergency landing in a remote area was the most challenging part. It often involves being dropped off in some remote area with harsh conditions and limited supplies.”

“Sitting on the launch pad in those last hours before liftoff, many have reported anticipation, some nervousness over whether they will do a good job, and others fear,” Batchelor says.

When asked whether death would be something an astronaut fears, Batchelor says that anyone who fears death would not chose going into space as a career.

Willene Wadkins, CSN student, says, “It is a very heavy subject matter about astronauts and the dangers they face.”

Full-time student Colene Wadkins enjoyed the show. “It was educational with everything they go through with learning how to be an astronaut.”

CSN’s Planetarium is open to the general public. “I always encourage everyone, not just students, to come to The Planetarium,” Kerr says. “Nearly all of our shows contain very important information about the universe around us— something that many people should know more about.”

The Planetarium is located inside the CSN Cheyenne campus. Currently “Black Holes,” “Astronaut” and “Molecularium” are playing. For more information http://www.csn.edu/planetarium/events.asp.

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