Astronaut Selection Hints

No one other than science teachers, Star Trek fans, and documentary filmmakers much cares what the astronauts actually do in space. "Looking at stars, pissing in jars" is the snide catchphrase for astronaut work that you hear at Kennedy [Space Center].

-- 1a

To Become an Astronaut, Read

If you want to be an astronaut, the best thing you can do is read about the people who made it. And, of course, there is the official NASA jobs web site.

To Become an Astronaut, Listen

The second best thing you can do to improve your chances is join the AsHo mailing list. ("AsHo" = "astronaut hopful.") See:

To Become an Astronaut, Read More

    These are some hints I picked up in my readings.

Dr. Zebra's Suggestions:

The biggest hurdle in the astronaut application process is getting an interview (at which point you are considered a "finalist" in the selections). Surprisingly, there is a sure-fire path to getting an intervivew. Do all of these things:

Over the years Dr. Zebra has met many physicians who have professed a desire to become astronauts, but have not been willing to do what it takes to get chosen. Rest assured, there are competitors out there who are doing all of these things.

With careful planning you can complete these steps seven years after graduating from college. There are a few caveats and tips:

Once you qualify for an interview, the rest is up to you. You still have to pass the medical standards, and you have to come off as someone that the astronauts would want to work with. And for goodness sakes, don't get drunk at the social event!

For History Buffs:

Cited Sources
  1. Burrough, Bryan. Dragonfly. New York: HarperCollins, 1998.
    a  p.5  b  p.349
  2. Cooper, Henry S. F. Before Lift-Off. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins, 1987.
    a  pp.3-4  b  p.19  c  p.21
  3. Gandt, Robert. Bogeys and Bandits: The Making of a Fighter Pilot. New York: Penguin, 1997.
    a  p.186
  4. Dallek, Robert. An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy 1917-1963. Boston: Little, Brown, 2003.
    a  p.502  b  p.394
  5. Wolfe, Tom. The Right Stuff. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1979.
    a  p.99  b  p.412
  6. Collins, Michael. Carrying the Fire. New York: Ballantine, 1974.
    a  p.???
  7. Schirra, Walter M. Schirra's Space. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1988.
    a  p.225
  8. Slayton, Donald K. Deke!: U.S. Manned Space Flight from Mercury to the Shuttle. New York: Forge: St Martin's Press, 1994.
    a  p.313
  9. Swenson, Lloyd S. Jr., et al. This New Ocean: A History of Project Mercury. Washington: US Government Printing Office, 1966.
    a  p.130

    Comment: Full text is available on-line at:

  10. Grissom, Betty. Starfall. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1974.
    a  pp.52-53