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NASA Space United States

Now's Your Chance To Apply As an Astronaut 86

From reader Leebert comes this notice: NASA will hold a conference this afternoon to explain the process the agency will use to select the next class of astronauts. According to the announcement, "NASA will recruit its next astronaut class through the federal government's USAJobs.gov website. The class of 2009 was the first astronaut class to graduate in a new era of space flight following the final mission of the space shuttle. A new fleet of human spacecraft is in development by commercial companies to deliver crews to the International Space Station. NASA also is developing spacecraft to send humans on missions of exploration far away from our planet." Says Leebert: "I plan to apply, because I want to be able to say: 'Not everybody can be an astronaut. I know, they sent me a rejection letter.'"
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Now's Your Chance To Apply As an Astronaut

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  • by ari_j ( 90255 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @01:49PM (#38062072)
    Piloting a plane in the atmosphere is related to being an astronaut in at least one important way: The ability to orient yourself without reliable visual or gravitational cues and then think clearly and rationally despite disorientation. Even if your only job is to change the oil in the Mars rover, you will need to have experience remaining calm and working in unusual orientations.
  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @02:17PM (#38062442) Journal

    How many people will apply just so they can prove to the unemployment office that they are "looking for work"? I saw that in retail years ago. Guy came in, filled out application. My boss was like, "you just want this checked off". They guy was like "uh-huh". Kinda funny to imagine that happening at a NASA complex with all the big hangar buildings and rocket displays.

  • by suomynonAyletamitlU ( 1618513 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @02:37PM (#38062740)

    There are very few other occupations that prepare you to keep cool and operate controls under varying gee-forces.

    Admittedly, most of spaceflight happens with the thrusters off, but if you get spooked by the idea of sudden acceleration, you are not going to operate well in a spacecraft. And you may not think that you'll be spooked, but there's a reason acceleration is measured is Gees--that is, multiples of Earth's gravity. You'll suddenly, and briefly, weigh several times as much as you ever have before.

    Jet pilots in particular experience abnormal gee forces with pretty much every flight. Test pilots have to train to recover from all kinds of ghastly aerodynamic fuck-ups. The sort of conditions they can recover from, or can't bur prepare for, would leave you horrified.

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.