A new training option for space tourists

A medical institute best known for rehabilitating athletes now wants to get into the space tourism field. The Andrews Institute, in Gulf Breeze, Florida, near Pensacola, has established “Project Odyssey” in partnership with Space Florida. The effort will provide a “first-of-its-kind” program for training prospective customers, which would include medical screening as well as centrifuge training at nearby military facilities. The effort is being started with a $500,000 grant. Prices for customers have not been set but will be “appropriate” for people paying anywhere from $95,000 to $200,000 for a suborbital flight.

Left unanswered in the report, though, is exactly who would use the service. Virgin Galactic already has had its medical screen and training program in place for some time. XCOR and its new partner, RocketShip Tours, haven’t announced specifics about their training plans, but since their efforts appear to be based in Phoenix, incorporating a Florida screening and training element may not mesh well. Rocketplane Global appears to plan to do their training in Oklahoma, while the Armadillo Aerospace/Rocket Racing joint venture hasn’t announced its training plans. The Andrews Institute may have a good facility, but they may have problems, at least in the near term, attracting customers.

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