Why Do Astronauts Need Survival Training?

Survival training is a vital part of basic training for all current astronauts.

What if the spacecraft loses control when taking off and is forced to land in the sea? When landing is off-target it can take a long time for help to arrive.

We may be forced to land in the sea, desert, tropical rainforest, or on a glacier, in summer or winter, meaning that we may need to survive under extreme situations for several days with very little equipment.

Also, a mission in an outer world is basically very severe: there is no air and we need special equipment to stay there. Astronauts need to be mentally and physically fit with that kind of environment.


What Does The Survival Training Process Look Like, and What Things Will You Be Learning

Basically, there are three types of survival training that I am seeking to do:

-general critical survival skill training

-Sea survival training

-Wilderness survival training

General critical survival skill training

First of all, it is critical to learn general survival skills that are applicable in all weather conditions and in any environment, such as how to set up camp, how to make a fire, and how to find food including fishing, finding and preparing food, and cooking with primitive tools. It is also important to learn how to recognize poisonous plants and insects.

Sea Survival Training

sea survival training

sea survival training allows us to survive in the ocean when we are:

-in need to evacuate from a rocket that is sinking underwater when an emergency happens

-or forced to float alone in the sea for several days

By learning how to escape from a sinking vehicle and how to effectively float in the ocean, we can increase the chance of our survival. 

Wilderness Survival Training

Wilderness survival training is beneficial when we are stranded in mountainous areas. In order to survive in this harsh environment, we need to know skills of:

-climbing and descending high cliffs safely, crossing rivers, navigating in the wilderness using nature and the stars, finding and treating water, and sleeping overnight in an improvised shelter. -also, survival medicine and first aid is a vital part of training in case we are injured.

How Do You Get Certified for Survival Training? How Long Does It Take?

There are multiple types of certifications that you can get. For example:

(1)critical survival training

-Survival instructor certification (critical skills) : 2-4 months



-plant identification / plant medicine

(2)Sea survival training

-Aviation survival / Egress training (= HUET: Helicopter Underwater Escape Training) certification :

-GED (General Emergency Duties) certification (including First aid/CPR/AED) :


(3)Wilderness survival training

-WFR (Wilderness First Responder) / WFA (Wilderness First Aids) :


-Wilderness survival skills certification

After finishing all these certificates, I plan to participate in an expedition in a harsh environment such as a desert, uninhabited island, or snowy mountains, which usually takes from several weeks to several months.

Where I Am Completing My Survival Training?

There are multiple facilities that provide survival training and certificates.

NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) provides a wide variety of survival courses such as wilderness expedition in mountainous areas, wilderness medicine course including wilderness first responder certification and wilderness first aid certification. 


US survival systems provides a rigid sea survival program that allows me to learn how to protect myself from emergency in the ocean.


My Final Remarks on Survival Training

I have never imagined that I would do this kind of survival training. Staying overnight in mountainous areas or floating in the ocean without necessary equipment seems really scary, right? I would rather choose to sleep in a comfortable bed in a clean room, and I would rather buy ingredients and water at supermarkets. However, I need to be self-reliant in the outer world.

Although it seems to be really difficult, I believe I can do it step-by-step, and the continuation of efforts makes it possible for me to be a suitable candidate.

This is the overview of survival training. I believe that I will be more confident about my survival skills after completing everything, and I am really excited about the experience ahead.