A group of college students is skydiving, scuba diving, and going through wilderness training during a workshop at Iowa State University. The purpose is to expose them to the type of thinking that’s needed for spaceflight training.
Former astronaut and current ISU faculty member, Clayton Anderson, is running this program for the first time. He says he hopes to expand it into a class for credit.
“It’s important for Iowa State University I think to help us stand out, so I think that’s the overlying goal for me is to create students who are ready to step into aerospace commercial companies and do great things,” Anderson says.
Anderson says when he started out he didn’t have much operational training and had to learn it on the fly. He says there’s much more to the industry than people think.
“We don’t intend to create baby astronauts here, what we’re trying to create are better students for the commercial spaceflight companies that can contribute more readily and more capably with these companies right off the bat,” according to Anderson.
About 50 students applied for the program and 5 from ISU and one from Tuskegee University were accepted. While the students get to jump out of planes, they also have to attend various lectures throughout the week.