astronaut candidates


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  • CDR. Nathaniel Fick; Fick graduated with honors from the US Naval Academy. He will be the youngest commander to lead a mission to Mars.
  • Brad Colbert; Colbert graduated high school at sixteen, and won NASA’s largest hackathon at seventeen before moving on to MIT for dual undergraduate degrees in math and computer science. 
  • Ray Person; Person applied to the NASA Astronaut Candidate Program and was selected for his outstanding academic accomplishments, dedication and service to community, and an exemplary record of professional achievements.
  • Walt Hasser; Hasser holds a master’s degree in both chemistry and astrophysics as well as a doctorate in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. A noted scientist and experience astronaut, he will serve as the navigtor on the Hermes.
  • Antonio Espera; Espera earned a bachelor of science in astronautical engineering at the United States Air Force Academy. He now joins the Ares 3 crew as pilot after eleven decorated years of service in the United States Air Force.
  • DR. Timothy Bryan; Bryan graduated cum laude from the Yale School of Medicine. Since joining NASA, Timothy Bryan has made two trips to SpaceXStation and completed five spacewalks (EVAs.)

In the movie “The Right Stuff” there is a scene where a government recruiter for the Mercury astronaut program (played by Jeff Goldblum) is in a bar at Muroc Dry Lake, California. His partner suggests ChuckYeager as a good astronaut candidate. Jeff proceeds to badmouth Yeager claiming they need someone who went to college. During the conversation the real Chuck Yeager is playing a bartender who is standing behind the recruiters eavesdropping. General Yeager is listed low in the movie credits as ‘Fred.’

The first official female astronaut candidates, from left to right: Shannon W. Lucid, Margaret Rhea Seddon, Kathryn D. Sullivan, Judith A. Resnik, Anna L. Fisher, and Sally K. Ride . All six women would eventually fly on at least one mission, with Ride being the first in 1983.

via reddit

anonymous asked:

okay okay okay L I S T E N: post-the martian au with professor mark watney and astronaut candidate chris beck. chris' mind is 50% on the lesson, 50% on about how fucking hot and brave and smart professor watney is.

A million and one years later, but I’m totally listening. Feel free to tell me more anytime.

The thing is… It’s hard, ok? This becoming an astronaut business. Chris will concede this is sort of a stupid tautology. Interplanetary space travel is hard. Manned interplanetary space is really very hard, and a fleeting fancy for extraterrestrial adventures won’t be enough to get you sent to Mars.

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The NASA Village

Today in the NASA Village… So you want to be an astronaut?

The road to becoming an astronaut is as diverse as the NASA Village itself. Today’s astronauts come from varied career backgrounds.  NASA has recruited doctors, scientists, engineers, teachers and a veterinarian to serve as astronauts.

I had dreamed of being an astronaut since I was 9 years old when Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the moon.  It became a goal to be an astronaut when I graduated high school, because that was the first year they selected female astronauts.  After getting a Ph.D in Biochemistry, I applied for 10 years to become an astronaut before I was lucky enough to be selected to become an astronaut.  I was selected as part of the Astronaut Class of 1996 along with 34 other people, the largest NASA astronaut class so far.

If you get selected, you are given the title “astronaut candidate” or “ASCAN”.  Yes, it is pronounced like it looks!  As an ASCAN, you begin two years of intensive astronaut candidate training which includes team building, survival skills, and technical space systems training.

The technical training includes robotics instruction, how to perform spacewalks, operational training in T-38 Talon supersonic jet, language training, expeditionary crew skills, and specialized hardware and science instruction.

Andrew Morgan, shown with his classmate Nicole Mann, were part of the most recent Astronaut Class of 2013.

Andrew said “EVA (“spacewalk”) training is some of the most exciting training we do as astronauts.  Every training run in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory begins with several days of preparation.  One way we prepare is by making a SCUBA dive in the NBL to look at the ISS mock-up and study the components we will fix when we’re wearing the EMU (spacesuit).  By wearing standard SCUBA equipment we have a little more freedom of motion to look around and it helps us become familiar with the part of ISS where we will work when we wear the spacesuit underwater.”

Andrew and Nicole just recently completed ASCAN training and earned their astronaut wings.  It is the culmination of a lifetime of dedication and perseverance to reach that goal. Their new job duties include support of mission operations and technical duties while awaiting their spaceflight assignments, which might take 1-5 years.  Once assigned to a mission, you have another 2 ½ years of intensive training for that mission.

What are your odds of becoming an astronaut you may wonder? Nicole and Drew were 2 people selected from 6300 applicants that year.  But don’t let the odds discourage you, you will never become an astronaut if you don’t try.

I had the privilege of being a member of the 2004 Astronaut Selection Board, and I chaired the 2009 Astronaut Selection Board. I am always so impressed with the caliber and quality of people who apply.

The basic requirements for becoming an astronaut are straight forward:

1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in engineering, biological science, physical science, or mathematics. (Quality of academic preparation is important and the higher education you have the more likely your chance of success).

2. Degree must be followed by at least 3 years of related, progressively responsible, professional experience or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft. (Teaching experience is considered to be qualifying experience for the Astronaut Candidate position).

3. You will need to pass the NASA long-duration space flight physical (rigorous would be a complementary discriptor of all the tests that have to be passed).  Because we are going on longer duration missions, 6 months or more, we want to ensure the astronauts are in good health and won’t encounter any serious medical issues in space. And, you want to be in good shape to help minimize bone and muscle loss, and also to be able to do spacewalks. It takes a LOT of upper body strength to work in the space suits for 6-7 hours!

Some other factors that the selection board would consider include a genuine appreciation and love of the spaceflight program, a team-based orientation, language skills, organizational skills, and an ability to communicate a spirit of discovery.  And, since astronauts will be spending more time in space than ever before, it’s crucial that candidates can interact with people from diverse backgrounds, demonstrate they have skills outside a lab environment, and are good with their hands for operational tasks.

The best advice is to follow your passion! We need a diverse range of people and skills to make our team successful! So pursue your hobbies and be the best you can be in the areas that interest you!

If you are ready to apply, YOU ARE IN LUCK!  NASA recently announced that they will begin accepting applications for the next class of astronaut candidates December 14, 2015 through mid-February 2016.  

This is your chance!  No matter the odds, if it is your dream you should try, and try, and try again.

Next time on the NASA Village… Map my brain.

Do you want more stories?  Find our NASA Villagers here!
Nasa seeks new class of astronauts as US nears return to crewed space missions
Space agency says astronauts will pave the way for putting humans on the surface of Mars, as it accepts applications for the first time since 2011
By Ian Sample

Basic Qualification Requirements

Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements before submitting an application.

Astronaut Candidate (Non-Piloting background)

1. Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in engineering, biological science, physical science, or mathematics. 

  • Degree must be followed by at least 3 years of related, progressively responsible, professional experience or at least 1,000 pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft.
  • An advanced degree is desirable and may be substituted for experience as follows: master’s degree = 1 year of experience, doctoral degree = 3 years of experience. 
  • Teaching experience, including experience at the K - 12 levels, is considered to be qualifying experience for the Astronaut Candidate position; provided degree is in a Science, Engineering, or Mathematics field.

2. Ability to pass the NASA Astronaut physical, which includes the following specific requirements:

  • Distant and near visual acuity: Must be correctable to 20/20, each eye.
  • The refractive surgical procedures of the eye, PRK and LASIK, are allowed, providing at least 1 year has passed since the date of the procedure with no permanent adverse after effects.  For those applicants under final consideration, an operative report on the surgical procedure will be requested.

3. Standing height between 62 and 75 inches”

Time for me to get some LASIK and hit the gym!