Astronaut Hopefuls on Facebook

Regular readers of this blog know that I often reference the Astronaut Hopefuls (aka: AsHos) group. Dating back to 1993, the original AsHos website is a great source of historical information on NASA's previous paper-based rolling astronaut application process that ended in 2002. For the past seven years, the AsHos group has been more active on its Yahoo! Groups website, which now boasts 1144 members. This is where astronaut applicants have shared their experiences throughout the 2003-4 and 2008-9 application processes.

With the establishment of a new AsHos Facebook group page, perhaps another era of social networking is dawning for the the Astronaut Hopefuls group. It's a closed group, so only serious astronaut hopefuls are presumably allowed to join. There is another Facebook group called "I Wish I Was an Astronaut" which has an open join policy and correspondingly has a wider range of seriousness among its members.

What is the future for AsHos and social networking? I don't know, but I'm sure it'll be fun and interesting. NASA already has many presences in the major social networking outlets, so it wouldn't be much of a stretch for someone in the Selection Office to tap into these new technologies to keep applicants and the public at large more in touch throughout the selection process.

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