December 16, 2006

Spacy eyed

You’ll notice today’s NASA picture is the plume of the Space Shuttle Discovery from its night launch several days ago. I saw the headline about another space walk. This space walk will be done to finish rewiring to the International Space Station. You see, I said to myself, I could do that. I looked at USAJOBS to see if NASA were hiring. They are and I am going to apply. I don’t have a snowballs chance in hell of having my application considered, but this is something I would like to do. I haven’t had any other success in finding a job. This will be one of many I haven’t been considered for. The site usually has about 3200 applicants for 20 positions.

I have always wanted to go into space and like many other kids, had my hopes dashed when I got my first pair of glasses. The path to becoming an astronaut was through the wings of a pilot. Unfair, I feel and why does there have to be a PhD and/or a military officer doing the wiring? When is space travel going to be in the real world? In the real world that skill would be a technicians or electricians job. So why not hire a technician, electrician, welder or computer specialist when they need one? Why can’t those people be astronauts? How much more design is done for the space station so that just anyone with minimal skills can put it together? My theory, having a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering does not mean you know how to use tools.

If humans ever plan to expand in the universe, space travel has to depend on the ordinary. You get a ship and hire a crew, hopefully with all the skills you need. They probably will not look like the stars in a movie, but you would not be interested in PR, but only to successfully complete the trip. NASA is still into PR and the private companies are catering to the rich and famous. I don’t think either approach will help humans explore space.

I wonder how many other people like me will apply. We do have “the right stuff,” it’s just in the wrong package.

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