A Finnish company has launched a new smartphone application designed to help ordinary people develop skills required to navigate space as an astronaut.
Space Nation, a Helsinki-based startup, said the Space Navigator aims to help anyone prepare for the age of space tourism.
"Space is not far away. It's in our backyard," Mazdak Nassir, the company's founder and chief content officer, was quoted by Finnish national broadcaster Yle as saying.
The application offers a variety of tasks, games and quizzes for astronaut wannabes. The training package, which is intended to make the users both physically and mentally space-ready, is suitable even for those who "begin from zero," according to the company.
Space Nation will select 12 people from the fittest users of the app for further training and give the best among them an opportunity to get an actual space tour.
"Our aim is to dispel the notion that an astronaut is super-human," said Nassir.
Although sending people into space is still challenging, the introduction of Space Navigator is a positive development, said Jaan Praks, an assistant professor and space expert at Aalto University.
"All activities and investments in this direction are good. This will prepare us for the future when we travel in space much more," he said.