UNF Student Wins Contest To Train Like A Cosmonaut In Russia

Aug 15, 2018

A 20-year old University of North Florida student is the winner of the Student Astronaut 2018 contest sponsored by the science television network Xploration Station.

Giat is majoring in two seemingly disparate subjects at UNF: astrophysics and multimedia production.

So he put together a video, sent it in and won an all-expenses-paid trip to the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Moscow, which, Giat said, “is where astronauts train today. And it’s the last place they go before they actually go to space.”

Lee Giat hopes to become an astronaut and a maker of movies in space.
Credit Lee Giat

Giat said he's excited about doing so many things at the training center, like trying astronaut food, experiencing the G-forces of a rocket launch in a giant centrifuge, putting on an actual space suit and, he said, “learning how to fly a Russian Soyuz rocket— an actual — the rockets they use today to go to the International Space Station.”

Giat says it’s all good practice for his ultimate goal, which is to one day  film the first major motion picture in space.