How I Trained for Suborbital Spaceflight (A Photo Guide)

Voice of Reason

Our trainer, Glenn King, was the voice of reassurance while we rode the centrifuge, offering advice and encouragement if our vision started to blur from lack of oxygen. — Clara Moskowitz.

Here We Go!

It was an utter shock – and quite a thrill – when the simulated spaceship dropped from its mother plane and fired its rocket engines to ascend to space. — Clara Moskowitz.

All Systems Go

After a couple of practice sessions I was raring to go for the full-on flight profile of SpaceShipOne, which NASTAR uses for practice until data for Virgin Galactic's new SpaceShipTwo is available. Here, I'd just strapped into the cockpit. — Clara Moskowitz.

Space Graduation Day

At the end of our suborbital spaceflight training program each trainee was awarded a certificate in our graduation ceremony. While it may seem silly, that piece of paper represents a major achievement for me – I really wasn't sure I could handle the intense training beforehand. What an amazing relief once I'd made it through! Here I stand with King and Brienna Henwood, NASTAR's director of space training and research. — Clara Moskowitz.

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Clara Moskowitz
Assistant Managing Editor

Clara Moskowitz is a science and space writer who joined the team in 2008 and served as Assistant Managing Editor from 2011 to 2013. Clara has a bachelor's degree in astronomy and physics from Wesleyan University, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She covers everything from astronomy to human spaceflight and once aced a NASTAR suborbital spaceflight training program for space missions. Clara is currently Associate Editor of Scientific American. To see her latest project is, follow Clara on Twitter.