Monday, April 16, 2018

Pathway to Become an Astronaut

My daughter has wanted to be an astronaut since 1st grade and she has never lost her interest in all things space throughout the years.  Upon questioning her about what pathway to focus on through high school, it is still a lifelong dream to be the first person/astronaut on Mars to survive and come back!  She also wants to be the first astronaut in a skirt.  She also likes the idea of being a Software Engineer or programming drones or robots.  All of these really do fit together when you think about it and there are so many roads with these interests that lead to being an astronaut.

We do believe as part of our religious beliefs that women are to marry, be homemakers and bear children.  Our daughter has also said this is her main goal in life above all but wants to learn about being an astronaut, go to space camp and be a solo software engineer on her own (without college).

We have talked about the benefits for the gospel in having a pilot's license and how it could be used if she was to marry a missionary.  I blogged about the Aviation/Aeronautics course she is going to take to fulfill that there in this post:

Why be a pilot?  Well, it is something most likely required to be an Astronaut and it pays to have that background early on.  Here are the current requirements to be an Astronaut from NASA:

So, What Does It Take to Be an Astronaut?

Astronaut requirements have changed with NASA's goals and missions. A pilot's license and engineering experience is still one route a person could take to becoming an astronaut, but it’s no longer the only one. Today, to be considered for an astronaut position, U.S. citizens must meet the following qualifications:
  1. A bachelor's degree in engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science or mathematics.
  2. At least three years of related professional experience obtained after degree completion OR at least 1,000 hours pilot-in-command time on jet aircraft.
  3. The ability to pass the NASA long-duration astronaut physical. Distant and near visual acuity must be correctable to 20/20 for each eye. The use of glasses is acceptable.

Astronaut candidates must also have skills in leadership, teamwork and communications.

NASA's Astronaut Selection Board reviews the applications (a record-breaking 18,300 in 2016) and assesses each candidate's qualifications. The board then invites about 120 of the most highly qualified candidates to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, for interviews. Of those interviewed, about half are invited back for a second round. Once the final astronauts are selected, they must complete a two-year training period.

With NASA's plans for the future of exploration, new astronauts will fly farther into space than ever before on lunar missions and may be the first to fly on to Mars.

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