- There will only be 110 rather than 120 interviewees in the first round. I'm not sure exactly how this will affect the timeline I previously posted. Either 1-2 are being shaved off each group, or one of the groups will not meet altogether.
- The first eight groups are already full, but the remaining four groups from 19-30 January still have vacancies.
- The Astronaut Selection Office's goal is to notify the last interviewee by 15 January for an interview during the last week of interviews (26 January).
- Interviewees will receive additional medical forms to fill out before coming to Houston.
- Some of the activities during the interview will include: the formal interview, psychological testing, medical records review with a flight doctor, assessment on a new robotics system, a brief physical, some spaceflight exercises, and of course the informal, social gathering.
- In case there was any doubt, Ms. Gomez confirmed that NASA will pay for the whole interview trip.
As for me, there is still no news to report. It's a nail-biter to be sure!
I'd also like to share an insightful Houston Chronicle article by Steve Lindsey of the NASA Astronaut Office that offers a defense of the Constellation/Ares program and the reasons NASA isn't opting for a commercial launch vehicle at this time.