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Astronaut Training Program Lifts Off at NAS Pensacola.

The "Cradle of Naval Aviation" took another step toward the future by becoming a key player in astronaut primary training. A program developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) utilizes NAS Pensacola, Fla.'s Training Squadron (VT) 4 and its T-34C Turbo-Mentor trainers for primary astronaut orientation flight training. Astronaut Cdr. Mark Kelly, program coordinator, said, "The instructors here at VT-4 are well trained at working with flight students with no experience." In the past, Air Force T-38 Talon supersonic trainers were used for the primary orientation flight training stage, but the high-performance trainer proved to be too extreme for new civilian mission specialists with limited flight experience. The five-week program includes classroom studies of basic navigation and aeronautics, water survival and 12 orientation flights in the T-34C Turbo-Mentor. When completed, the astronauts will spend another five weeks at Lyndon B.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Department of the Navy, Naval Historical Center
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Westlake, Ron
Publication:Naval Aviation News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2001
Words:143
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