PADI Divemaster goes into space

Open water instructor and astronaut reaches for the stars

Author: Pat
3rd February 2012
 

A PADI Divemaster has blasted into space with two other cosmonauts from the Star City launch complex.

Anton Shkaplerov headed for the stars in a Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft back on November 14th. The spacecraft successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS) two days later.

Shkaplerov is actually the second PADI-qualified person to reach space. Fellow PADI Divemaster and compatriot Dmitry Kondratiev was Commander of Expedition 27 back in May 2011.

As you might expect, in many respects diving is similar to being in space. In fact, astronauts and cosmonauts alike train in a weightlessness simulation tank called a Hydrolaboratory.

Basically a giant pool, the Hydrolaboratory is capable of accommodating a 20-ton space station module used for preparation for spacewalks and weightlessness training. The pool is 12 metres deep, 23 metres in diameter and 5,000 cubic metres in volume.

Dmitry spent hours in this pool preparing for work on the exterior of the International Space Station.

Under special circumstances, certified divers can make fun dives to the submerged copy of the space station with a PADI Instructor.

One of the few things Dmitry took to the ISS in his allotment of personal items was his instructor’s PADI OWSI (Open Water Scuba Instructor) Emblem.

 
 
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