Students get astronaut training at Russian space centre

Izabella Buckholt and Sophie Field.
Izabella Buckholt and Sophie Field.

Two college girls were among the first British students to be allowed to train at a once secret camp for Russian cosmonauts.

Izabella Buckholt and Sophie Field, along with co-ordinator, Sarah Chick, from Kimberley College in Stewartby got to live at Star City for a week.

Sophie trying out the space suit.

Sophie trying out the space suit.

They were based in the military training barracks and undertook several training programmes that real cosmonauts complete before departing for space.

These included space docking simulations, survival training in snow covered forests and emergency training for disasters.

They also got to learn about the history of space travel and had a full tour of Star City, being introduced to past and present cosmonauts and watching today’s astronauts in training.

Sophie said: “It was an incredible experience.

Inside Star City.

Inside Star City.

“For me there were two highlights of the trip. First, I was selected to wear one of the cosmonaut’s space suits and see what it felt like to wear it when fully pressurised. It was like being inside a very expensive hi-tech balloon.

“Second, was the opportunity to hear first-hand from NASA astronaut Dr Michael Foale about his experience of living and working on both the Mir and ISS Space Stations.”

Elizabeth added: “What I enjoyed most about the trip was getting to learn about the space stations and the technology, whilst being taught by someone who had actually been there and experienced it.

“We also got to walk around inside the copy of the Mir space station at Star City. It felt really special to be able to see what only a handful of other people in the whole world have got to see.”

Survival training in the woods.

Survival training in the woods.