back to article Do you want to be an astronaut when you grow up? Yeah, you and 12,000 others: NASA flooded with folks hoping to visit Moon, Mars

If the current coronavirus pandemic has got you wanting to leave Planet Earth, you’re not alone. More than 12,000 people answered NASA’s latest call for astronauts to explore the Moon and Mars. Unfortunately, if you’re still thinking about it, you’re a little too late. Applications have just closed after being open for a month …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unless...

    Donald, the Tweeter in Chief Trump goes then this is a non starter.

    The 'can do' NASA of old is long gone. Everything is late and way, way over budget. Just contract it out to SpaceX and save everyone a lot of heartache.

  2. Dom 3

    Surely the first woman on the moon should be there on merit, not because it has been decreed in advance?

    1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

      Merit?

      Anyone who completes the training program will be there on merit. What sort of requirement were you imagining that would disqualify half the citizens of America? The Artemis program will, surely, send more than two people in total to the Moon, so, as a consequence of the discriminatory selection procedure for the Apollo program, a woman candidate will become the first woman on the moon.

      Unless, of course, China or India get there faster.

      1. Paul Kinsler Silver badge

        Re: Merit & Selection

        Well, there's always this sort of thing:

        Entrofy Your Cohort: A Data Science Approach to Candidate Selection

        Daniela Huppenkothen; Brian McFee; Laura Noren

        https:arxiv.org/abs/1905.03314

      2. Dom 3

        Re: Merit?

        I hate prejudice and discrimination. Saying that the next crew to go to the Moon *will* include a woman is prejudice.

        The next phase of Moon exploration will not require the test pilot skills of the 60s.

        "Anyone who completes the training program" - really? At that level there is still competence vs. incompetence. I cringed when Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper dropped her toolbag, particularly *because* it would fuel sexism.

        It depends what you're doing - read Chris Hadfield or Tim Peak or "Riding Rockets".

        If you're looking at Mars, small women make sense - they need much less food.

        1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

          Re: Merit?

          @Dom 3 - "Saying that the next crew to go to the Moon *will* include a woman is prejudice."

          I did say that it was a consequence of the discriminatory selection procedure for the Apollo program. If the Artemis program gets as far as putting anyone on the moon, then the probability of one of those being a woman, assuming perfectly non-discriminatory selection, would rapidly approach 1. When 5 people had landed, if none of them were a woman, then most scientists would reject the null hypothesis, "there is no discrimination against women in the selection" at the 95% confidence limit. Most non-scientists would say there's discrimination if the first 2 were men. The selection will be influenced by the political need to "redress the balance" of past discrimination.

          "At that level there is still competence vs. incompetence." Well, I'm sure everyone has the occasional bad day. Maybe the training program doesn't accurately reveal the "true merit" of the candidates, but that doesn't change the fact that the decision was made based on the best available measure of the merit of the candidates.

    2. The Nazz

      Well

      I'd laugh my socks off if the first (of the next) astronauts to the moon were actually called Eve and Adam.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: if [the next] astronauts to the moon were actually called Eve and Adam.

        Would I Adam and Eve it?

        .

        .

        I would, of course, on provision of suitably reliable evidence. :-)

  3. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Let's...

    Let's just treat it as the B-Ark and "accidentaly" make go off course ;-)

    1. macjules Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Let's...

      Was going to ask, how many applicants were 1) told that Boeing are building the craft and therefore 2) it might be a single trip?

  4. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Ah ...

    When I was a kid it was generally believed that by the year 2000, going into space would be routine. The comics I read (Eagle, Look and Learn, etc.) regularly featured cut-away drawings of atomic rocket-ships, space-stations and "Moon Hotels".

    I can't help feeling something went wrong somewhere ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Meh

      Re: Ah ...

      When I was a kid it was generally believed that by the year 2000, going into space would be routine. The comics I read (Eagle, Look and Learn, etc.) regularly featured cut-away drawings of atomic rocket-ships, space-stations and "Moon Hotels".

      I can't help feeling something went wrong somewhere ...

      I blame it on people not wearing the silver aluminized fabric clothes that these publications always showed 21st Century people dressed in.

      1. Dave559 Bronze badge

        Re: Ah ...

        And not eating our food pills…

        And insufficient love for brutalist architecture…

        And…

      2. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Ah ...

        "Alumnized fabric"

        Are you talking about my hat?

        I think what went wrong was, although the space race was initially driven by the cold war, subsequently it was the cold war and military spending that has taken precidence over manned space exploration.

        I wonder how far the money spent on Iraq and Afghanistan would have got us?

      3. The Nazz

        Re: Ah ...

        I take it you weren't ever around Scouseland in the 80's?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    mission to send the first woman and next man

    it's 2020, an it's not good enough to send "two bestest specialists". Why don't they send a genuine, certified, Native American first?! :(

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: mission to send the first woman and next man

      Well, I'm just guessing - and I'm probably reaching a bit - but I think it might be because the US government isn't really bothered with ensuring that Native Americans are educated to the point of being able to get a degree. In anything.

      I'd be glad to be proven wrong, though.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That degree...

    "NASA upped the education requirement for eligible candidates from a bachelor’s degree to a master’s degree in a science, technology, math, or engineering subject."

    So no more Bruce Willis in space, then!

    1. Rafael #872397
      Boffin

      Re: That degree...

      They can send Dolph Lundgren. Or Brian May.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: That degree...

        Bruce Willis, Dolph Lundgren and Brian May, may not have master's degrees but I suspect they have more money than most of us here.

        1. Spherical Cow Bronze badge

          Re: That degree...

          @Chris G

          You should check Dolph and Brian's credentials.

  7. Mark 85 Silver badge
    Coat

    Road trip for two to the moon...

    There's been no reports of "space cuddling" on the ISS (but I might have missed that) so what are odds of a coupling on the moon? Asking for a friend.

    Icon: Fold your clothes neatly first.

    1. Chozo
      Gimp

      Re: Road trip for two to the moon...

      I'm told she is a harsh mistress

    2. Dom 3

      Re: Road trip for two to the moon...

      I read "Packing for Mars: The Curious Science Of Life In Space". IIRC the author concluded that it's very unlikely that sex in space has ever taken place. And also that it's very unlikely that sex in space has /never/ taken place.

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