If you love aviation then you probably grew up with dreams of becoming pilot soaring in legendary aircraft. Or maybe you set your sights even higher and thought of flying among the stars as an astronaut. The astronaut thing was a little farfetched back then, but these days it is actually feasible as the first commercial astronaut training program has opened.
Once upon a time, the opportunity to become an astronaut was only given to some of the most talented pilots on the planet. These days there are more ways to get into orbit other than just NASA. Companies such as SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin are toying around with the idea of bringing your Average Joe into space. But it is important that people know what they are getting into, so now the legendary Starfighters group is offering astronaut training in their F-104 Starfighters.
“It’s just like being on a spaceship. Driving into Kennedy Space Center, flying around and seeing all the launch pads, the Vehicle Assembly Building—you feel like you’re Neil Armstrong.”
– John Rost (First client in the program)
Starfighters Inc. has offered their F-104s up for a variety of programs but now they thought it best to take a dive into astronaut experience. The legendary jet designed by aviation guru Kelly Johnson is proving to be the ideal aircraft to learn the ropes of what astronauts endure.
“We don’t think it’s good for the industry if people don’t go up without some knowledge of what they’re going to encounter. The last thing you’d want to do is see yourself climb onto a rocket with the expectation it’s going to be so cool to go to space, and then to be sick all the way.”
– Rick Svetkoff (Starfighters CEO)