Do you have the right stuff?
Those of you who know me well know that my lifelong dream is being a NASA astronaut. Over the years, I've kept abreast of the astronaut candidacy announcements as they sporadically occur. I've always been disqualified due to the vision requirement that you have to have 20/200 uncorrected vision (correctable to 20/20) or better. My vision is about 20/400. Well, I'm happy to say that NASA has finally changed its policy on this matter. Now the visual acuity parts of the announcement simply read, "Must be correctable to 20/20, each eye." I checked with the NASA page on astronaut qualifications and confirmed that there is no explicit upper bound for how bad your vision can be, as long as it is correctable to 20/20. They even allow LASIK surgery now, which is another huge reversal in their vision requirement policy. I've held off on pursuing LASIK primarily for this reason, so now I'm free to start saving my pennies for having the surgery someday.
Due to NASA's relaxing of its vision requirements, I'm now eligible to apply to be an astronaut. Will I apply this time around? Definitely. Will I make the cut? I hope so, but it's very, very competitive with an acceptance rate well under 0.5%. Will I be a strong candidate next time they announce astronaut positions in a few more years? Absolutely.