At ‘Star City’, This Is How Astronauts Learn About Soyuz Spacecraft

by Elizabeth Howell on February 17, 2014

While the world is having a good time watching Olympic sports in Sochi, about a day’s drive north in Russia there are a bunch of astronauts using their evenings for a different purpose: reading an 18-inch high stack of Soyuz spacecraft textbooks.

“So let’s study all this real quick, let’s learn everything, we’ll learn everything we have to learn, and then let’s go to sim[ulation],” says European astronaut Thomas Pesquet in a new video from living quarters in training facility Star City, near Moscow.

“Okay, but I think it takes about a year,” answers fellow European astronaut Andreas Mogensen.

“Oh … so we better get started,” Pesquet says, handing gobs of books to his colleague.

Mogensen has his hands full in other ways as well as he shows us around Star City: there’s a new baby in his family, as you see at the beginning. We doubt he’s getting a lot of sleep right now, but this will certainly be a memorable time as he prepares to be the first Dane in space in 2015.

For more information on the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center at Star City, check out this link.

European astronaut Andreas Mogensen between parabolas on a "Vomit Comet"-like plane (to simulate weightlessness) during training in 2010.

European astronaut Andreas Mogensen between parabolas on a “Vomit Comet”-like plane (to simulate weightlessness) during training in 2010.


Elizabeth Howell is the senior writer at Universe Today. She also works for, Space Exploration Network, the NASA Lunar Science Institute, NASA Astrobiology Magazine and LiveScience, among others. Career highlights include watching three shuttle launches, and going on a two-week simulated Mars expedition in rural Utah. You can follow her on Twitter @howellspace or contact her at her website.

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