HomeNewsArticle Display

NASA astronauts at survival school highlights capabilities, needs

Four NASA astronauts sit in with a class of Survival School students being briefed on life raft procedures Feb. 10, 2017, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. Water survival training is hosted by the base Fitness Center pool facilities. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Ryan Lackey)

Four NASA astronauts sit in with a class of survival school students being briefed on life raft procedures Feb. 10, 2017, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. Water survival training was hosted at the base fitness center pool. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ryan Lackey)

NASA astronauts bail out of a crash simulator during water survival training Feb. 10, 2017, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. The Survival School uses a crane apparatus to simulate an aircraft and is equipped with water, sound and light effects. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Ryan Lackey)

NASA astronauts bail out of a crash simulator during water survival training Feb. 10, 2017, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. The survival school used a crane apparatus to simulate an aircraft and is equipped with water, sound and light effects. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ryan Lackey)

NASA astronauts and Survival School students help pull survivors into a life raft during a simulation Feb. 10, 2017, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. Water survival instructors are hands on teachers, jumping into the action alongside their students. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Ryan Lackey)

NASA astronauts and Survival School students help pull survivors into a life raft during a simulation Feb. 10, 2017, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. Water survival instructors are hands on teachers, jumping into the action alongside their students. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ryan Lackey)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. (AFNS) -- Four NASA astronauts trained with U.S. Air Force Survival School instructors in water survival and recovery Feb. 10, at the base fitness center pool here.

The astronauts underwent the training in preparation for anticipated test flights of the new commercially made American rockets, the Boeing CST-100 Starliner and the SpaceX Dragon.

“It’s a different space program now,” said Sunita Williams, a NASA astronaut. “We’re flying in capsules instead of shuttles, and they can land anywhere. You never know when an emergency situation may happen, so we’re grateful to get this training.”

The astronauts were put through the paces of bailing out from a simulated crash landing in water. They learned to deploy and secure a life raft, rescue endangered crewmembers, avoid hostile forces and experience being hoisted into a rescue vehicle.

“This is the first time we’ve gotten a complete environmental training experience, lots of wind, waves and rain,” said Doug Hurley, a NASA astronaut. “This is a great way to experience how bad it can get and how important it is to be prepared.”

The astronauts opted to join in with more than 20 water survival course students, despite being given the option to train alone.

“They didn’t want to train on their own,” said Lt. Col. Chas Tacheny, the chief of NASA Human Space Flight Support-Houston. “They wanted to train with the group because some of these people may one day be preforming search and rescue for them.”

Other NASA astronauts visited the survival school last year in an effort to research and test the viability of its training course and facilities. The astronauts liked what they experienced and NASA has since developed its training partnership with the schoolhouse.

“The SERE instructors are advising us in water recovery,” Behnken said. “These experts are the most experienced I’ve ever seen. They are able to spot holes in our training and fill the gaps.”

NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory in Houston possesses a large water training facility built to simulate weightless conditions during space walks, but it’s not properly equipped to simulate water surface conditions for recovery training.

This training is vital for future NASA mission recovery operations, said Behnken. We are working with the experts here to eventually replicate the survival school water survival training equipment at the NBL facility in Houston.

“I’m impressed by the use of the facilities here,” Williams said. “It’s a small space, but they really manage to simulate all kinds of weather conditions and situations we might experience during a water landing.”

The survival school originally had a separate detachment at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, where it conducted water survival training in open ocean waters. The training was brought to Fairchild Air Force Base in August 2015 in an effort to save time and money by consolidating training at one location.

“It was a good decision for the Air Force to streamline our training efforts by moving all portions of water survival training here,” said Col. John Groves, the 336th Training Group commander. “However, the fitness center pool was designed for recreational use and isn’t suited to the ever increasing demands placed on it by our training programs. Bottom line, we owe it to our Airmen and mission partners such as NASA, who rely on our unique training capabilities, to have a purpose built water survival training facility.”

Engage

Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Meet MSgt Aldrian Byrd. He led security operations in support of Operation Allies Refuge at Ramstein AB and ensured the s…
Twitter
In partnership with the @AFResearchLab's Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation directorate,… https://t.co/NgCL6CkPVJ
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: The @USAirForce was established Sept. 18, 1947 by that year's National Security Act. To kick-off the service's formal bi…
Twitter
.@AFWERX Agility Prime partner, Moog Aircraft Group, has created a prototype electric vertical takeoff and landing… https://t.co/j8GTzog2bJ
Twitter
Three C-130s flying sorties from McClellan Air Tanker Base in Sacramento County, CA, are performing an aerial firef… https://t.co/77dTFbhjXI
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: A senior leader message prior to the @USAirForce's 74th birthday: "Our Airmen serve around the globe, always ready to de…
Twitter
Today is POW/MIA Recognition Day. We recognize the more than half-million service members who have, at one time, be… https://t.co/txZ2zTxlm0
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Innovation depends on both creativity and support to turn concepts into reality. It requires courage, and rewards tenacit…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Partnerships are fundamental to executing the mission. Working with and learning from our partner nations @NATO -- togeth…
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: The 2021 #ENJJPT Steering Committee is happening at @SheppardAFB this week! Excited to continue our partnership to deliver…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: This is Capt Eric Johnson. He was critical to the reception, care, feeding and bed down of more than 30,000 vulnerable Af…
Twitter
.@UnderSecAF Gina Ortiz Jones met with @USAFReserve Airmen to discuss the @DeptofDefense COVID-19 vaccination direc… https://t.co/9y28hmcMir
Twitter
Join Department of the Air Force senior leaders for a live, virtual town hall discussing the Racial Disparity Revie… https://t.co/6Z7N6QIuLP
Twitter
The U.S. Special Operations School, in collaboration with @HQUSAFEAFAF hosted the bi-annual European Partnership Fl… https://t.co/egAlljufL3
Twitter
Join Department of the Air Force senior leaders for a virtual town hall discussing the Racial Disparity Review tomo… https://t.co/s4XfTyCwEY
Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: Polish Aviation Integration 🇵🇱 The U.S. and #Poland will conduct Agile Combat Employment training during the bilateral av…
Twitter
.@TeamTyndall's 325th Munitions Squadron has a unique capability - it's the only #AirForce Munitions Squadron certi… https://t.co/RMmTapKK3F
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: Today marks the beginning of National #HispanicHeritageMonth! Visit our Spotlight page at https://t.co/Lhe9Hxc454 to lea…
Twitter
Hear why this #Airman chose to get vaccinated. @SecAFOfficial directed the COVID-19 vaccine implementation guideli… https://t.co/TFpjBtHUuq
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,375,916
Follow Us