Fly me to the moon!
December 17, 2007 9:11 PM   Subscribe

Astronaut Candidate Program. "The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announces the opportunity to apply for the position of Astronaut Candidate to support the International Space Station (ISS) Program."

Astronauts are involved in all aspects of assembly and on-orbit operations of the ISS. This includes extravehicular activities (EVA), robotics operations using the remote manipulator system, experiment operations, and onboard maintenance tasks."
posted by banshee (25 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
REQUIREMENTS: 10 years experience as an astronaut working in a similar space station environment.
posted by mullingitover at 9:17 PM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

Standing height between 62 and 75 inches

I am slightly too tall to become an astro-naut. Please reduce my taxes accordingly.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:22 PM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

Federalist Astronaut Society members preferred.
posted by brain_drain at 9:25 PM on December 17, 2007

The thing about robots in space is - you don't have to smell their farts.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:25 PM on December 17, 2007

I was told there would be no math...
posted by darkstar at 9:26 PM on December 17, 2007

My favorite part "Frequent travel may be required"
posted by bottlebrushtree at 9:30 PM on December 17, 2007

Similar to the Canadian simulated Mars expedition, I'd be sooo there but I can't think of a way to apply my MSc in research immunology (pathological haematology) nor the PhD in molecular neuroscience I'm working on to being a peon on the ISS.

Oh well, I guess I'm just going to have to settle on making robocop a reality (without the ethical hangups of transforming some dude who just got shot up without their consent). Either that or giving everyone robotic controllable prehensile tails with tactile force feedback.
posted by porpoise at 9:31 PM on December 17, 2007

Our tallest astronauts are 5 foot 3. God help us.
posted by dhammond at 9:43 PM on December 17, 2007

porpoise: ...Nor can I think of a way to apply my undergraduate degree in English, but I think that between the two of us, the molecular neuroscience PhD looks better.

And remember, Robera Bondar was a neurologist.
posted by bicyclefish at 9:44 PM on December 17, 2007

I love the ubiquitousness of the little space shuttle icon on the page. It's like a bowl of Shuttle-o's and the prize inside is a NASA application.
posted by cashman at 9:48 PM on December 17, 2007

No thanks. After all, space is one cold MF.
posted by stargell at 9:55 PM on December 17, 2007

I dunno porpoise. I had a friend at UC Davis who sent fruit flies up to study the effects on their immune systems...
posted by natabat at 9:59 PM on December 17, 2007

This must be for the Starbucks they're opening up on the ISS.
posted by chips ahoy at 10:16 PM on December 17, 2007

bicyclefish - at least you're degree-o-nomically qualified to present your experiences to the rest of humanity, and natabat - that experiment doesn't require anyone with expertise up in orbit; the analyses were done when the flies were brought back down.

Eh. I haven't heard of the ISS actually doing any really cutting edge science (outside of materials science) but maybe I'm wrong I'm probably wrong. I'd love to be proved wrong.

Yeah, I'm sure I'm just being negative, but it's hard to quantify being a good team member and being good with electronics and equipment and having machines like them when other people have "engineer" or something in their credentials.

I guess I'm just going to have to come up with experiments with high-impact ramifications that can be done in simplified model systems in negligible G.

Chemically/electrophysioligically induced LTP/LTD (long term potentiaion/long term depression - the major [but very likely faulty] models of memory and learing) in minimial gravity? How well do astronauts learn/remember/whatever? THe ISS (to me) seems to do more macro experiments; do mice learn the same things in microgravity as on earth; to me the "do mice learn...." question is pretty twitish.

It's just not sexy enough, compared to "do frogs fuck each other and make normal tadpoles" or "do spider react to LSD the same in zero-G compared to spiders on earth who've dropped acid.
posted by porpoise at 10:22 PM on December 17, 2007

Porpoise: just curious -- why do you think your current research has to be more macro? Just to enhance chances of selection? Because I'd hope they'd consider candidates with the proper academic background (which you seem to have) if the candidate gave evidence he/she could apply crtitical thinking and general lab/research expertise to a space-worthy project. But, I've never looked into detail into this, so I dunno.

(I'm curious for my own future job searches, likewise. I've always thought it'd be cool to work for NASA.)
posted by NikitaNikita at 10:38 PM on December 17, 2007

Pshaw. Now if we sent an inanimate carbon rod to space then that would be something!
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 11:05 PM on December 17, 2007

I for one would like to welcome our underqualified high-school dropout astronauts, and remind them that as an internet celebrity, I could be useful in rounding up citizens to toil in their dairy queens, and at their NASCAR events.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:29 PM on December 17, 2007

I wonder if my advanced degrees in theatre qualify as scientific.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:02 AM on December 18, 2007

dhammond, either you need to check your arithmetic or I need to recalibrate my irony meter.
posted by pax digita at 4:21 AM on December 18, 2007

I am an awesome team member as long as people see things my way and cater to my every somewhat quixotic whim. If not, well, open the pod bay doors HAL we have some corpsicles to evacuate.

Now, go fetch me a manhattan. You call this vermouth dilluted swill a manhattan? HAL!...
posted by substrate at 5:13 AM on December 18, 2007

Don't get distracted by NASA, porpoise. I want that prehensile tail!
posted by moonmilk at 6:51 AM on December 18, 2007

Standing height between 62 and 75 inches

Hot damn! I'm actually tall enough (just) to be an astronaut! Wish I'd known that 20 years ago ... Of course, the requirement for no barfing in zero g would still be a problem.

NostalgiaFilter: back in the 1960s NASA was rolling in so much dough that they were funding research into stuff that had little relevance to the space program. Like my Dad's biochemistry work on RNA polymerase in E. coli, in his lab in the Space Sciences Building (of all places) at UC Berkeley. Anyway, sometimes he'd take me to the lab on weekends to get me out of Mom's hair and I'd race his office chair up and down the hallways till I got tired, then admire the gorgeous photos of nebulas, planets and galaxies displayed everywhere. They fired my kiddie imagination even more than Star Trek and to this day I still want to work for NASA (in a non-barfing situation). But, like porpoise, I don't really have the skills they need. Can we bring back the 1960s please?
posted by Quietgal at 7:28 AM on December 18, 2007

Porpoise, you're sadly right, as yet there hasn't been any *true* cutting-edge research done on ISS...but everyone should remember (hi, Congress!) that the damn thing's only a little more than halfway built. Give us a few more shuttle flights, get the European and Japanese labs up there, give us 6 people living there instead of 3, and then we'll see what happens. I'm personally hoping for monkey-navigated rocket cars, but I suppose a cure for some obscure cancer will do.

Q: Don't you think there's an inherent danger in sending underqualified civilians into space?
A: Only if they send us to that terrible planet of the apes...wait a minute...Statue of Liberty...that was OUR planet! And you blew it up! You maniacs!
posted by zap rowsdower at 7:35 AM on December 18, 2007

Training for long duration missions is very arduous and takes approximately 2 to 3 years. This training requires extensive travel, including long periods away in other countries training with our International partners. Travel to and from the ISS will be by Space Shuttle until its retirement in 2010. Following the Shuttle retirement, all trips to and from the ISS will be aboard the Russian Soyuz vehicle. Consequently, astronauts must meet the Soyuz size requirements, as indicated below. Candidates will be expected to provide own diapers for any non-critical interpersonal missions taking place via regular Earth ground transport.
posted by pineapple at 9:19 AM on December 18, 2007

Having spent three plus years as a contractor whose firm's majority contracts were with NASA (I've been 'paroled' since Sep) I can say with all honesty that I'd play Russian roulette with two in the chamber before I'd get into a NASA vehicle.
posted by phearlez at 12:12 PM on December 18, 2007

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