Applicants need to be at least 18 years of age, have a deep sense of purpose, willingness to build and maintain healthy relationships, the capacity for self-reflection and ability to trust. They must be resilient, adaptable, curious, creative and resourceful.
Mars One is not seeking specific skill sets such as medical doctors, pilots or geologists. Rather, candidates will receive a minimum of eight years extensive training while employed by Mars One. While any formal education or real-world experience can be an asset, all skills required on Mars will be learned while in training.
The Biological Advantage of Being Awestruck
“In other words, awe has helped us survive”
“In Event of Moon Disaster”, July 18, 1969.
White House speechwriter, William Safire, was asked to write a speech that President Nixon would make in case the Apollo 11 astronauts were stranded on the Moon.
It was never delivered, and this speech was quietly tucked away into Nixon’s records.
Source: Nixon Library
This is so fascinating. I wonder what other speeches were written where the course of events rendered them useless and their anticipated significance was overruled by some other occurrence or outcome.
I, in the past, thought about getting a Mohawk myself. But my team keeps on discouraging me. And now that [Bobak Ferdowski]’s received marriage proposals and thousands of new Twitter followers, I think I’m going to go back to my team and see if it makes sense.
I completely missed this awesome answer to my NASA question from my favorite science blogger jtotheizzoe, but here it is!
NASA has been continuously recruiting astronauts since 1959, even before we flew into space. There’s no signs of this slowing, although the missions and skills are continuously changing.
Every few years, NASA picks a dozen or so “astronaut candidates” from thousands of applications submitted. Here’s 2009’s class. They are pilots, teachers, scientists, doctors, and engineers. Only 330 people have ever been selected as astronaut candidates since 1959. You have to hold a bachelor’s degree in a STEM discipline (and really an advanced degree with significant experience if you’re not a military pilot). You also have to pass a pretty rigorous physical examination (better get Lasik for those glasses, Jen), and be between 5’2” and 6’3” (I’m right at the top end, which is unfortunate for my future application). You also have to be a U.S. citizen (or dual citizen).
Then there’s about a bazillion interviews. If you get selected, you have to do survival training, SCUBA certification, and about 2-3 years of intense space systems and engineering training, you have to learn Russian, you learn to do robotics work while wearing a spacesuit. Then you can actually be selected as an astronaut.
But why? We don’t have space shuttles anymore. Well, the International Space Station mission will continue for the foreseeable future, using partner countries like Russia to launch our astronauts into space. NASA is still developing future manned vehicles for missions to an asteroid and later Mars, namely the Orion project.
Because the astronaut training program is so long and intense, NASA must continuously be recruiting and training future space explorers. The cost of keeping a stable of ready-to-fly astronauts is paltry compared to building and maintaining the spacecraft and missions. Private companies are also getting into the space biz, but for the time being that looks to be the realm of pilots and adrenaline junkies. There’s future plans for private companies to dock with the ISS and do contract work for the government, but it doesn’t change one key fact: NASA trains the best astronauts in the world. And they are going to continue to do so.
Why? Because we have to get back up there. Start working on those applications!
Great info! Thanks!
I thought it would be fun to include a slide in my upcoming class about the history of meetings, and my research yielded an awesome list of 10 fascinating meetings in modern history. Here’s an excerpt:
Thomas Stafford & Alexei Leonov
On July 15th 1975 two men aboard the Soyuz (from the Soviet space program) and three men aboard the last Apollo mission (from the US space program) were launched within seven and a half hours of each other The Astronauts & Cosmonauts were to perform some experiments but the primary purpose of the mission was symbolic and was an attempt to ease the tensions between the two superpowers. On July 17, Stafford and Leonov met and exchanged the first international handshake in space through the open hatch of the Soyuz. The spacecrafts remained linked for 44 hours, long enough for the men to pay visits to each other’s ships,eat together and converse in each other’s languages. The Soviets remained in space for five days, the Americans for nine days.
Interesting Fact: The Americans and Soviets exchanged flags and gifts including tree seeds which were later planted in the two countries.
Something neat about the 10 meetings selected is that the two people are not always natural allies, but the meeting is completely civil and invited. Part of my enjoyment of effective meetings is having two parties come to a table from different perspectives to discuss mutual goals or to share a unique ideology for the dual purposes of informing and learning. This actively engaged communication helps communities and people grow instead of fester in one-track mindsets.
An observation: none of the meetings featured include women, which is a reminder of how recently it’s been since women have been recognized in history. Why not include, for instance, when Harriet Tubman met WIlliam Still in 1849, from which meeting the Underground Railroad could grow significantly?
Samsung is doing a really cool marketing campaign where they’re letting loose paper airplanes from space, which all have memory cards in them. Look out!