Today's astronauts require many different abilities. They must not only be expert in performing flight simulations but must also be proficient in such dissimilar subjects as photography, thermodynamics, electrical repairs, flight procedures, oceanography, public affairs, and geology. In Prepare for Launch, the author introduces the technologies and myriad activities that constitute or affect astronaut training, such as the part-task trainers, emergency procedures, the fixed-based and motion-based simulators, virtual environment training, and the demands of training in the Weightless Environment Training Facility. With plans to return to the Moon and future missions to Mars, the current selection criteria and training are very different from those used for short duration mission Space Shuttle crews. Dr. Erik Seedhouse in this book focuses on how astronaut candidates are taught to cope with different needs and environments (for example, hibernation, artificial gravity, and bioethics issues) and also includes brief discussions of the astronaut application and selection process.