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Preparing to become a Pathfinder in space

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We all love video games, but some just love them more than others. In this series, we’ll be highlighting some of our most passionate fans from around the world.

German Youtuber Sep from the PietSmiet collective had a chance to go to a space camp for Mass Effect: Andromeda. Learn about his two-day experience at the ESA Astronaut training center in Cologne.

You experienced an authentic astronaut training in preparation for the launch of Mass Effect: Andromeda. What was your first reaction when you learned about your nomination for the training?

I was super excited. Not only for the parabolic flight, which will be a once in a lifetime experience, but I was also looking forward to the astronaut training with the European Space Agency (ESA). Normally, you only get to see on TV how tough an astronaut training is. To experience this by myself was an honor for me.

What did your training as a soon-to-be Pathfinder look like?

Spinning until you get sick, a simulated docking of a space ship to the ISS, jogging up a wall with almost no gravity and of course the zero gravity-like underwater-mission in which we had to install an antenna under toughest conditions. 

As a Pathfinder, you must face some of the most dangerous challenges that the Andromeda galaxy has to offer. What was the most challenging task for you at the ESA astronaut training?

Clearly the mission under water! We had to put on a kind of space suit that made our work 200% more difficult. We had to fight zero gravity and solve a realistic task within a team. It was very tough! But along with my Pathfinder teammates from UK and Poland we did a pretty good job!

How did you prepare for the training beforehand?

I started to play Mass Effect 2 once again.

Mass Effect: Andromeda is about the exploration and discovery of a new galaxy. What fascinates you about it?

Being an explorer. I think everyone has a little of that in himself. Encountering new civilizations and their way of being and intentions. And finding new technology to let humankind progress.

Do you think that you are well prepared for a journey to Andromeda after this training?

Definitely much better than before. However, I’d still need many more hours of training before I could actually go into space. After all, it does look a lot easier than it is. But I’m totally ready for more training sessions.

As a third part of the training, a parabolic flight will follow soon. Are you looking forward to face zero gravity?

That will be an absolute highlight! You get a somewhat similar feeling for zero gravity under water, but moving without the suit and without an oxygen-mask will be completely different. Absolutely unique! I hope I won’t hurt myself during the flight.

What is your advice for being a good Pathfinder?

Make yourself aware that humankind is more important than the individual. You need to make sacrifices for the greater good, no matter how big or small they might be. And bring photos of your home and family and friends with you on the journey, because I believe that would encourage me the most: saving the lives of my beloved ones!

What are you looking forward to the most in Mass Effect: Andromeda?

The planets of course! But I’m also excited about the great story, the diverse characters and their interaction, all of which are so characteristic for the Mass Effect franchise. 


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