Segments in this Video

Introduction: Astronauts: Toughest Job in the Universe: Episode One (02:08)


Former International Space Station Commander Chris Hadfield assesses twelve astronaut candidates as they are put through six weeks of training and tests. Best performer will receive his recommendation for acceptance into space programs.

Criteria and Judges (03:13)

Astronaut candidates are tested on physical fitness, learning skills, and ability to make decisions under stress; they can be dismissed from the contest at any time. Dr. Kevin Wong and psychologist Iya Whiteley aid Hadfield with the selection processes, both have experience with space agency expectations.

Flying Challenge (11:41)

Astronaut candidates fly a helicopter, testing their abilities to hover as long as possible. Judges deliberate with the flight instructor regarding their performances.

Beep Test (05:11)

Contestant Merritt drops out of the running endurance trial early; she studies quantum physics and is a professional ballerina. Hannah, the eldest competitor, is the first Northern Irish woman to scale Mount Everest; she is among the last to be exhausted.

Mental Acuity Test (07:27)

Shortly after the Beep Test, astronaut candidates listen to a number sequence and must recite it backwards while walking on a step platform; sequences lengthen progressively. Half recall and repeat six numbers correctly, but none get to eight.

Psychological Resilience Test (09:06)

International Space Station astronauts undergo extensive personality testing; Dr. Whiteley uses tools developed for European Space Agency long-duration missions to evaluate candidates. After judges deliberate, urological surgeon Dr. Prash is dismissed from the competition.

Phlebotomy Test (05:41)

International Space Station astronauts conduct multiple experiments while in orbit. Candidates learn procedures before drawing their own blood. Nuclear engineer Derreck is dismissed from the competition.

Isolation Test (06:16)

Astronaut candidates inhabit plastic balls designed to assess claustrophobia. They stay inside the spheres until they have estimated that 20 minutes have passed. Hannah shares her anxieties about the trial, which stem from being trapped in an avalanche.

Credits: Astronauts: Toughest Job in the Universe: (00:33)

Credits: Astronauts: Toughest Job in the Universe:

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Astronauts - Toughest Job in the Universe: Episode 1

3-Year Streaming Price: $49.99



Astronaut Chris Hadfield, former NASA medical researcher Dr. Kevin Fong and psychologist Dr. Iya Whiteley put 12 exceptional candidates through a series of grueling physical and psychological tests to find out who has what it takes to be an astronaut. Using the demanding criteria of space agencies, they must hover a helicopter, take their own blood and be tested for claustrophobia, physical fitness, and mental agility. Those who fail to make the grade can be asked to leave at any time.

Length: 52 minutes

Item#: BVL199061

Copyright date: ©2017

Closed Captioned

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