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To infinity and beyond

2/10/2013 07:19:00 PM

A year after I submitted my second astronaut application to NASA, it would seem my journey in the current selection has come to an end. Multiple reports have confirmed that NASA has already chosen and brought in all interviewees to Houston as of last week. I wish all applicants still in the running the best of luck going forward.

Earlier today, I spoke with NPR's Jacki Lyden on All Things Considered about my astronaut ambitions and the current NASA astronaut selection. Bracketed by great soundbytes from Star Trek and 2001: A Space Odyssey, the story addressed the future of NASA and tackles how commercial space endeavors will usher in a new era of human space exploration. Other people interviewed in the 11-minute segment include astronauts John Grunsfeld and Michael López-Alegría. Listen here:

One of the things we talked about during the interview was how competitive it is to become an astronaut. Here's how the current selection is shaping up compared with the last one in 2008-2009:

Applicants: 6372(100%)3564(100%)
Qualified: ~4200(66%)~2800(79%)
Highly Qualified: 481(7.5%)~450(13%)
Interviewees: 120(1.9%)120(3.4%)
Finalists: 49(0.8%)40(1.1%)
ASCANs: 8(0.2%)9(0.3%)

While I had hoped that the additional items added to my resume over the past four years would have bumped me into at least the Interview category this time, I am honored to have made it to the Highly Qualified group somewhere within the top 1.9-7.5% of applicants. After all, with the number of applicants in 2012 nearly doubling compared with 2008, the chance of winning the astronaut lottery is much slimmer. In the meantime, please vote for me in the Axe Apollo Space Academy!

I'll close with some fun videos on life in space by current ISS Commander Chris Hadfield:

17 June 2013 Update: Added the correct numbers for the 2013 ASCAN class (49 finalists and 8 selected).

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Anonymous said...

Any word on the next NASA astronaut selction!
Sorry to hear you didn't get selected...

brian said...

Nothing official from NASA, but some of their statements have indicated that they plan to hold more frequent selections for smaller numbers of astronauts in the years to come. Of course, this all depends on a number of variables like attrition, mission, and funding.

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear you didn't get selected,but I envy you American because there seem to be lots of chances to be an astronaut in the near future.
In my country(Japan),we don't have any prospects when JAXA will hold next selection.

LJK said...

What a great interview on NPR! I admire your dedication. I myself am an aspiring space writer/philosopher.