Pinoy astronaut hopefuls gear up for space camp

Posted at 11/18/13 1:01 PM

(From left) Evan Ray Datuin, Chino Roque and Ramil Santos will be sent to the international Axe Apollo Global Space Camp in Orlando, Florida in December. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com

MANILA -- In two weeks, the three Filipinos who have a shot at being an astronaut for a day will fly to the United States to join a space camp.

Evan Rey Datuin, Ramil Santos and Chino Roque are gearing up for the international Axe Apollo Global Space Camp in Orlando, Florida in December, joining 22 other candidates from over 60 countries.

In an interview on "Mornings@ANC" on Monday, the three shared how they have been preparing for the tasks ahead.

Roque, in particular, said they have been doing crossfit training.

"We're leaving two weeks from now. So start of December, we'll be going to space camp already. We still don't know what to expect, except the three tasks ahead. For example, the first task would be the parabolic flight as they call it. Basically, it's like when you ride a plane, you experience zero gravity, so you'll be floating in mid-air," he said.

"The second one would be the centrifuge, it's this device that spins you. Everyone that's rode the centrifuge basically passed out. So that's the whole point of it, just surviving the whole passing out sort of feeling. And then one of the other tasks would be riding a jet going back to back, so that's really fast," he continued.

While they are competing for a slot for a 30-minute trip to space, Datuin shared that they have become close over the past weeks as they continue to look after each other.

He said he is thankful to have been given the opportunity to undergo training similar to astronauts and meet new friends.

"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity and this is the first in the Philippines, so we're very much privileged," Datuin said.

"Although there are these challenges, you still have this feeling that, 'wow, thank you for this opportunity, this privilege,'" he added.

Meanwhile, the three astronaut aspirants opened up about how they plan to make their mark as Filipinos in the orbital spaceflight if given the chance.

"I'm just going to carry a camera or a Filipino flag for the people to be able to see that there's a Filipino there," Datuin said.

"For me, I'm going to bring my family picture and take a selfie. After that, I'm going to bring my flag," Santos said.

"I haven't really thought of it, but I'll make sure I'll represent the country," Roque said.