Private Astronaut Training

Nancy Vermeulen

Space Training Academy


Bringing the universe closer to people and vice a versa, that is Nancy Vermeulen’s personal mission. For that reason, Nancy was the first in Europe to develop a non-governmental training programme in which prospective space travellers can prepare themselves for a space voyage. In 2011 was the kick-off, when Nancy Vermeulen gave training to a future private astronaut of Virgin Galactic.

The training is made up of different modules and is tailor-made to the candidate astronaut. The purpose of the training at the Space Training Academy is to prepare you both physically and psychologically for a suborbital spaceflight.

The three main modules are:

1. Introduction course: one full day (8 hours)

Basics about space and astronomy, basic flight and spatial disorientation training.

You can choose between either:

  • A training day at the Euro Space Center, located in Redu, Transinne, including an introduction to Astronomy and Principles of Flight.
  • Or a 1-on-1 training with an introduction to Astronomy & Aerospace + training session in a flight simulator.

2. Zero Gravity Flight: one full day, departing from Schiphol airport in Amsterdam.

We start with a half day course about the basics of human factors and situational awareness. This will then be followed by a snack – it’s important, after all, that you don’t go on the flight on an empty stomach. The flight will be done in a Cessna Citation jet and takes about an hour, during which six parabolic manoeuvres will be performed. During each manoeuvre you will be weightless for about 15 seconds. Thereafter there will be a debriefing.

3. Space simulator training at Soesterberg airbase, the Netherlands

This training takes place inside the Desdemona simulator at Soesterberg and is the closest simulation that exists of a real space flight. The training also takes one day and can be extended to two days if you want additional training in a hyperbaric room (pressure drop).

4. Extra module: simulated landing on Mars: one full day

Role play focussing at communication, decision making and leadership.

During your training at the Space Training Academy you will get realistic information on becoming a professional astronaut.

The instructor Nancy Vermeulen is a commercial airline pilot-instructor, Master in theoretical physics and astronomy, was Commander of a Mars simulation in Utah and took part in the ESA astronaut selections of 2008. She is a professional lecturer.

Contact us for more info and a personal intake interview.





+31 (0) 43 343 21 69


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