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RE: How to become an astronaut?

At 9:38 AM 7/23/96, David Levine wrote:
>>From the NASA FAQ list:
>experience certainly won't hurt, although it isn't needed to be a
>mission specialist.  Being a well rounded individual helps, as well.
>Mostly what it comes down to is the "interview" (a multi-part
>process), so a charismatic personality can't hurt, either.

I worked in the flight planing office, and some people who wanted to become
astronauts would take a job there to look good and well trained on later
reviews.  To be a pilot you need to have flown jet fighters a lot.  Mission
specialists usually are experts in their feilds, often ex research leads.

If you've don'r something questionable (funny political organizations, drug
charges, etc..) forget it.  NASA won't risk the bad press.

If you are an astronaut you can put on a few pounds and need glasses.  As
an applicant, they use any excuse to dump your resume.

A big question is how things will change with the SSTO program.  The
production birds should be coming on line in under 10 years so costs should
come down and they'll be able to fly more flights.  If SSTO does get
implemented, NASA will have to phase out the shuttles so their wount be
may/any maned flights.

>There are some apocryphal legends, as well, about what some of
>the interview entails.  At one point, supposedly, the remaining
>candidates are brought out to dinner at this cool cajun place out by
>Ellington Field (which I can't remember the name of off hand, but
>it's right on 3, outside of Ellington... help me out Kelly?)

Ahhh.  Yeah, little place in a converted gas station.  errr.  Its been 9
years since I worked there Dave.  ?????  Damn they had great BBQ too.  Who
the hell were they?

> --- Basically
>they want to see you drink.... and stop.  Rumors of not drinking at
>all getting you disqualified (no constitution, anti-social, whatever),
>and of candidates going too far and not knowing when to stop
>themselves getting disqualified.  Of course, this is not part of the
>official process.  And, like I said, apocryphal.

Well its harder to get chosen to play basketball for the NBA, but not a lot
harder.  Hundreds apply for the openings.  So if you don't shine, you get
lost in the pile.



Kelly Starks                       Internet: kgstar@most.fw.hac.com
Sr. Systems Engineer
Magnavox Electronic Systems Company
(Magnavox URL: http://www.fw.hac.com/external.html)