panek

anonymous asked:

I wanna become an astronaut so badly, that's literally all I want to do with my life. Or at the very least just work with NASA in some way or another. Do you think it's possible for me to become an astronaut or is there like a 0.01% chance of that ever happening? Please be honest

Currently your chances are slim to become an astronaut, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try.

There are a few factors that can increase your changes.

  • First of is your nationality, if you are a US national you have the highest chance. People have changed nationality in the past to go into space. 
  • The space agencies like fit people, so practice some sport and eat healthy.
  • Stay in school. The agencies like smart people. Medical and engineering degrees are popular. Bachelors degrees are required.
  • Get some work experience.

You can find NASA’s complete requirements for astronauts here. When most agencies look for new astronauts, everyone can apply. This also means that there are a lot of people applying. For the selection of the last astronaut group NASA received almost 6400 applications for 8 available spots (that’s a chance of 0.125%). At least this is the story so far…

The future might be completely different.

SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and XCOR are working hard to make space tourism more accessible. They will need pilots and trained personal. These spots will be filled by commercial astronauts. Currently there are only 2 commercial astronauts (Mike Melvill and Brian Binnie, both on SpaceShipOne), but more will likely follow. There is already a non-profit providing training (Astronauts4Hire).

I think your changes of working for (or with) NASA are pretty high if you keep your eye on the ball. NASA needs all kinds of scientist, engineers, mechanics, lawyers, support staff, educators, programmers, operation personal, pilots, and much much more. Stay in school and find the courses that can inspire you. Try going to NASA events and stay in contact with people in the space community. In this way you will build up a network, which can inform you of any positions available.

Note that I say that you might also work with NASA. NASA often lets Universities, research institutes and companies perform parts of their research and design work. The most famous of these institutes is the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is officially part of Caltech. The Space Telescope Science Institute is part of the John Hopkins University, they design optical instruments amongst others. The University of Colorado Boulder is associated with a number of space institutes in the area. And these are not the only ones.

This is quite long enough for now.  Feel free to ask if you have any further questions. Let me leave you with a quote from Natalie Panek, a mission systems engineer with the same dream as you:

My plan has always been that I will travel to space. Realistically this a huge endeavor to undertake, but I am of the mindset to set the bar really high and enjoy the journey regardless of the outcome.

Have a good journey!

Beautiful people of tumblr, I would like all of you to know I met Christa and Kristina today, and I want all of you to know how happy I am. They are literally some of the only reasons I’m here today. So many times I’ve just had it so rough and didn’t want to live anymore and just felt worthless, and I honestly just wanted to die, but then they gave me hope. They told me that they loved me during my sad days. They told me to love myself, and not to put myself down. They are so sweet and such role models and it means so much to me that they actually cared enough to take time out of their vacation to come and meet me tonight. Christa and Kristina, you guys are amazing and funny and overall just some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met in my whole entire life, like you don’t even understand. I love you both so much it’s insane. I hope I get to see you guys again because I love you both so much. Please never stop being the amazing people you are, I love you both with everything I have and am. So once again, thank you. ❤

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Panek from the Illvibe Collective explains the concept behind the design of the upcoming Illvibe album.