A Virtual Reality Tour of NASA’s Space Walk Training Program

Anna Green

At the Johnson Space Center in Houston, astronauts learn to walk in space by diving into a giant pool of water. The focal point of NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab (NBL), the massive indoor pool is equipped with a full scale replica of the International Space Station, and is designed to re-create the weightlessness of outer space.

In the short, 360 degree video above, astronauts-in-training explore the cavernous underwater space station with the help of support staff in scuba gear. In their bulky space suits, they must learn not only to walk in zero gravity, but to master repairs on the space station. The video explains that every astronaut must go through rigorous and lengthy underwater training before launching into space: "By the time our astronauts perform a real space walk," the narrator explains, "they will have spent more than 100 hours practicing inside the NBL."

[h/t Engadget]

Banner Image Credit: NASA, YouTube