Okay /sci/ does anyone have any experience with the application process to become an astronaut? Whether you completed training or just sent in a resume, I'm wondering if anyone here has taken any steps at all to go into space.
Right now I'm only a few semesters from finishing my Bachelor's an seriously considering applying to flight school with the US Air Force. I do have prior experience in the military, although in a different branch, so spending a few years in the USAF isn't something I'm worried about. I want to do flight school to get some time behind jet aircraft before sending in an application to NASA to see if I can get into the Astronaut Trainee program. This is all what-if and hearsay, of course, but I want to see if anyone on /sci/ has done anything relevant to this.
Have any of you done any applications into NASA's astronaut training programs, and is pilot experience really as valuable as they say?
Well pilot experience is definitely valuable, however you need at least some degree in engineering or other field and at least 2 years of experience. Almost all astronauts go above and beyond that, i.e. why would they want a pilot who has been flying for 1 year and has 1 masters, rather than a physicist who has had 5 years of flying experience and 3 PhD.'s
Signing on in the military is generally several years of duty before you're done. Pilots and other officers are usually longer serving. The 1000 flight hours of experience NASA wants isn't going to be difficult to reach if someone's doing civil air patrol or something for several years. I'm doing my undergraduate degree in biochemistry, and possibly a master's degree later on. I'm also curious if that education would be something that's useful for getting accepted into a space program.
...who's experienced what space is like. Something to tell the grand-kids about, yeah?
Your best bet if applying for astronaut through the pilot path is to become a test pilot.
You need to earn all your cats on one frame to make it to being a test pilot for one frame but once you're proven as a test pilot they'll post you onto different frames as a test pilot.
Of particular interest to NASA are U2/F22/E18 test pilots, mostly because of the avionics understanding required for these frames.
Id say it would still be rather competitive and having engagements on your record and having held a command of a squadron would definitely be advantageous considering those skills under pressure would be directly transferable
Various different routes. Masters in Engineering and pilot with serious air force or navy pilot experience... minimums. An MD plus engineering PHD & military again air force but they seem to be into Navy pilots.... plus physical condition... all the right stuff... plus be Russian, American, Chinese or some of the second rate like Canadian or German or Australian.... British don't seem to give shits or have astronauts?
Are you ok with pooping your pants? Astronauts wear diapers on spacewalks and just poopie themselves. Then they have to perform critical repairs, upgrades, and tasks with the reek of shit filling their spacesuit and stagnating crap irritating their butt. Are you sure this is the job for you?
get a bachelors in some sort of engineering or hard science field, join the military and be a top fucking percentage pilot, become a top fucking percentage test pilot, get at least a master's in your engineering/sci field, do this all for 15 or so years then apply and then maybe if you happen to have connections with someone in the astronaut program you'll possibly be considered, maybe. but probably not.
Already got that.
>Masters in Engineering
Materials Engineering doable?
So, doing a fuckton of deployments prior to becoming a test pilot would be advantageous?
>Are you ok with pooping your pants?
If shitting myself on the job is considered a bad thing, I don't want to be right.
I was seriously considering getting a master's in MatSci if this was a bad idea anyway, so that wouldn't be too bad. Again, I'd be willing to stick around the military for a while longer yet, even doing active duty flying shit missions for a while if it meant I could tell my 10 year old self that I became an astronaut and did what I dreamed of as a kid.
My wife's nephew is in space agriculture. It's huge but be prepared for top secrets aka no international travel. And probably you won't go to space because you are busy researching. Big industry starting though.
Deployments prior to being a pilot? Not really applicable in this regard because its not flying under real danger.
Deployments while being a pilot before test cat? That may help in getting your test cat but its more of an experience/frame knowledge thing
Nasa actually pulls way more astronauts from the US Navy than the air force. They actually released an article fairly recently about how USN submarine officers were best suited for extended space flight due to their technical backgrounds and being able to live in a tube
Were you in /k/ the other day?
The only pilots that are accepted are military pilots. They all are test pilots. They are all internal screened before they can apply. You know that whole best of the best of the best thing? Yeah, Like that.
I've spoken with a NASA astronaut who has been on I think it was 4 missions (whichever was the maximum allowed number). He said that the hardest and most stressful part of being an astronaut, even more so than take-off and landing, was the application process.
He described it as having about 100,000 people apply for 20 positions, ALL of which have engineering/physics/chemisty etc PHDs at a minimum with decades of experience. if you're part of that 0.02% that make it through, you'll spend the next 4-6 years training, of which about 3 of you MAY get a chance to go into space. In my experience it truly is the hardest career path to get into and it is for those people who have a real urge to explore space and further mankind - not for those who want to brag or tell stories which sounds like is your reason.
As someone who essentially made it as a fighter pilot but was removed from the selection process due to injury (RAAF pilot), they look for people with strong maths and physics backgrounds. Things like engineering or physics degrees they love. But its not just academic they care about, you need to be excellent with your physical capabilities as well in terms of quick decision making, very quick learning curves, hand-eye coordination, reaction times, multi-tasking in stressful situations - the list goes on. You need to really want to fly for the right reasons. The military won't put you through pilot school (RAAF says a fighter pilot has $1million invested in them by the time they earn their wings) just so you can say you're a pilot or brag about it - you need to have a deep passion for flight.
Have been shaping my life to become an astronaut for the past 4 years or so. About to finish my bachelors in mech eng w. thermofluids spec. Going the academic route and starting MIT aero/astro masters in the fall. After that I'm trying to get in at spacex for a few years to get some actual industry experience in aerospace. Already own a private pilots license (t-thanks dad), have spoken to 3 astronauts already (1 canadian) about my options
i can just tell you now that you're weak and you aren't astronaut material, but if you are the right guy youll take that and fuel the fire even more. You have to be a certain type of person to become an astronaut, a certain type of person I have very rarely met in my travels. Quite a rare breed of extraordinary.
Also would like to mention that the fact that you can't look up the astronaut application process and do research yourself and immediately resort to asking /sci/ to "do it for you" is completely and utterly pathetic, and is in fact the antithesis to what the modern astronaut is. You have to be self sufficient. You have to be able to take a problem and solve it with with your own two hands. Asking a taiwanese rock sculpting company is doing the complete opposite.