Open Water Diver Course Booked

All registered for a Scuba Schools International (SSI) Open Water Diver course and ready to go!

This week I walked in to El Mar Diving Center here in Tempe, AZ to register for a scuba course and struck up a great conversation with the young man behind the desk. I told him a bit about motivations for taking the class (i.e. spaceflight training) and he listened in amazement. I told him that scuba diving and expert divers are essential element of astronaut training programs. He looked at me in shock and wonder, previously unaware of this connection. I could almost hear him thinking, “You mean I could work with astronauts?”

Boeing's Chris Ferguson wears Boeing's new spacesuit designed to be worn by astronauts flying on the CST-100 Starliner. Photo Credit: Boeing
Boeing’s Chris Ferguson wears Boeing’s new spacesuit designed to be worn by astronauts flying on the CST-100 Starliner.
Photo Credit: Boeing

After filling out the paperwork, the young man walked me through the shop talking about all of the gear I may need. He was extremely knowledgeable and gave me much to think about as I decide which gear to select. As we were chatting, he started talking about the dry suits and how he had just started to dive in cold water temperatures. I told him about the royal blue Starliner spacesuits (pictured on right) and how close they look to the dry suits he was showing me. It’s always nice to show people how close they are to spaceflight and watch them light up with excitement. I’m pretty sure that’s also what my face looked like the moment he handed me my new divelog book.

Having been a swimmer my whole life, I believe I am ready for this new challenge. I will not lie by saying I don’t have a few butterflies in my stomach, but I am ready to push myself and see how it goes.

The featured image is of Erin’s new divelog for her upcoming SSI open water diver course at El Mar Diving Center. Photo Credit: Erin Bonilla

About the author

Erin Bonilla

Erin Bonilla is pursuing a master's degree in Adventure Education with a concentration in the psychosocial components of human spaceflight selection and training. She believes that through the development of a baseline approach to behavioral health within the astronaut selection process we can minimize long term psychosocial challenges and increase participant enjoyment.

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By Erin Bonilla

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