Update: NASA has selected all Interviewees

If the chatter on the AsHos board is accurate, NASA has selected all of its astronaut interviewees for the 2009 group. Unfortunately, I cannot count myself among them. Thank you everyone for following this blog and believing in me. Despite today's setback, I am optimistic that I will make the cut for a future astronaut group. After all, this was only my first try, and I am young enough that I have plenty of years left to work on building my skills, experience, and resume to better prepare me for the job. Let's see how I stack up to the stereotypical astronaut:
  • Passionate about space (check)
  • Meet basic age, height, weight, and vision requirements (check)
  • Generally high level of fitness and athletic experience (check)
  • Eagle Scout and community leadership involvement (check)
  • Good communicator and public educator (check)
  • Expeditions in extreme environments experience (check)
  • Technical operations with high stakes decision-making experience (check)
  • Earned multiple science or engineering degrees in different fields (check)
  • SCUBA diving experience (check, although not much)
  • Military experience (no)
  • Private Pilot Certificate (no, although much informal pilot experience)
  • Earned doctorate degree or equivalent (no, almost finished the Ph.D.)
I'm probably not going to join the military, although it would be fun to be in the National Guard or Civil Air Patrol. I think I stand a better chance focusing on the doctorate and pilot gaps, as well as shoring up my diving experience (As with most things in life, the main barriers are money, time, and motivation.). That's what I'll spend the next few years doing before the next application opportunity. In the mean time, I'll keep posting information about whatever grabs my attention on this blog.

I've blogged previously on how difficult it is to be selected as a NASA astronaut. The following plot shows this year's astronaut selectivity with NASA's new Ares I launch vehicle for scale (click to make larger). I'm proud to have made it within the top 13%. Now, NASA is focusing its attention on the top 3% who are being interviewed through the end of this month.

In other news, please mark your calendars for 10:30am-12:30pm Pacific time on Friday, January 23. I'm going to be the guest on The Space Show. Our main topic of discussion will be my analysis of the ISU and UND Space Studies masters programs. I believe we'll be taking callers with questions too.

Also, stay tuned for a couple of really interesting upcoming posts with complete astronaut statistics as well as how an environmentalist can reconcile with the pollution caused by space travel.


Anonymous said…
Brian -- I am very impressed with your positive future outlook! -Alina
Anonymous said…
Brian - I have enjoyed reading your blog over the past few months. I am in the same boat - highly qualified, but no interview this time. It would be interesting to see some statistics on the number of applications submitted by selected astronauts - often you read that they went 6-8 rounds before getting selected. Good luck with finishing the PhD and your second year as a parent - it's amazing to watch your baby turn into a little person!
Anonymous said…
Hi Brian,
Congrats on making it to the top 13%. I was apparently in the "Qualified" group, but not the "Highly Qualified" group. I am also young, and this was the first time I applied, so I hope to strengthen my resume and apply again as well. I know this selection process is not even over yet, but do you have any idea when the next selection process may start? Love reading the blog, please keep it up.

BrianShiro said…
Thanks for the comments, everyone. A few months ago, NASA was saying they expected the next astronaut group selection to take place no sooner than 2 years from now. I heard from a reliable source yesterday that they now say it'll likely be 4 years from now (2012-2013). This all depends on funding, the status of Constellation, and how many astronauts retire.
Anonymous said…
Thanks so much for your website! I looked at it regularly to see what was going on and appreciate the time you put into it. Good luck with the next selection.

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