Recently, Karina Fabian (discussed previously for Magic, Mensa & Mayhem), in her Rocket Science for the Rest of Us blog, pointed to an announcement — NASA is taking applications for astronaut training. There was a time I would’ve loved to be an astronaut, but I didn’t know how to go about applying, or what the requirements were, or where to go to find the answers. The only hint I had was that the Captain in I Dream of Jeanie had come in from the Air Force, and I knew I didn’t want to go into the military. So I went on with my dreams of going to medical school (which, clearly, I didn’t have much better information on).
Intrigued at the recent announcement (even though there’s no way I’m relocating to Houston), I looked at the Astronaut Selection and Training brochure for the requirements. Bachelor’s degree in math, science, or engineering — check. At least three years of post-college experience — check. (Two years as a lab tech, and the master’s degree counts as one, despite the number of years I put in to get it.) Vision correctable to 20/20 — check. (Even if it’s going to require progressive lenses next time around.) Blood pressure below 140/90 — check. Height between 62 and 75 inches — check. (Hey, I’m not too short!) At least on paper, I’m qualified.
The things that give me pause are in the training procedures. Because of my leg, I’m not sure I could do hyperbaric or hypobaric conditions, or even SCUBA certification. So much as I would love to have a mid-life crisis and apply to become an astronaut in the hopes of going to Mars someday, it’s not realistic. Which is just as well — as I said, I’m not up to relocating to Houston. Don’t care for the climate. And my husband has tenure here, which, in this economic climate, isn’t something to dismiss.
So I’m letting the dream stay in the past. On the other hand, if anyone reading this is qualified and tempted, let me know how it goes.