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Astronaut training available through an app

Space Nation app trains would-be astronauts and offers chance to go into space

Astronaut training available through an app
Space Nation's Navigator App is the first step for astronaut training to win a trip to space.

A new app has been launched which aims to prepare private citizens to become astronauts, and even offers one lucky candidate the chance to go into space.

Finnish startup Space Nation has launched the Space Nation Navigator app, the world's first astronaut training app, which trains candidates in basic astronaut skills via minigames, quizzes, fitness challenges and narrative adventures.  The free app, which is available for download for Android, has been developed in partnership with NASA astronaut trainers.

The app has gone live today to mark the anniversary of the first manned space flight, which was made by Yuri Gagarin on 12th April 1961.

Kalle Vähä-Jaakkola, CEO and co-founder of Space Nation, said that the app has been created so that anyone regardless of age, nationality, education or background, anyone in the world can now begin astronaut training.

Space Nation Navigator is the first step in the Space Nation Astronaut Program - a global competition in which one candidate will win a trip to space.

Space Nation was founded in 2013 in Helsinki to raise interest in space exploration, with plans to provide ‘space experiences' to a global audience. Space Nation has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA, has its own ‘office space' at the International Space Station and is the first space tourism company to become an Affiliate Member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

The Space Nation Astronaut Program has been designed in partnership with Axiom Space (the people that train NASA astronauts) and NASA, which will offer training from the app through to bootcamps, parabolic flights, right through to - eventually - multiple trips to space.

"If we could go from sending the first man to space to putting a man on the Moon in just eight years," said Vähä-Jaakkola. "Imagine where we can be in eight years from the first commercial human space flight with the current speed of technological progress. With 3D printing we can even print entire houses, and easily build things on remote planets. Advancements in urban farming and hydroponics enable growing on soilless planets. Reusable space crafts and docking stations drive down the price of a ticket to space. And harnessing the resources of the Moon, even more."

The Space Nation Navigator app will feature more and more content as 2018 progresses. Candidates will be able to unlock achievements, and become eligible for prizes and astronaut training experiences.

Space Nation's co-founder and CCO Mazdak Nassir said: "Space Nation Navigator and the Space Nation Astronaut Program are the first training tools for civilian pioneers of future space travel. Low Earth orbit is open for business, companies are preparing to mine asteroids and build hotels. More and more people will visit space. This next step in the new space race will require a host of skills, skills that Space Nation Navigator will provide to anyone in the world.

"Space Nation Navigator's release puts app users right at the centre of the democratization of space. As crazy as it sounds, downloading the app could really be your first step on a journey to visit space."

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