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

European astronaut Andreas Morgensen resting between parabolas on a "Vomit Comet"-like plane during training in 2010.

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.