As a former part cartographer (exploration is part of my schtic), I’ve pondered trying for space exploration before. Anything you’d take into account over your ability to manage stress, the proximity with your colleagues, the fact that you’re away from your family/dependents and the extra stress/excitement of being on the hiring process?
What would you consider future outlooks to be? Inhabited space covers “only” the international space station for now, in what time horizon do you picture new Moon expeditions or an expedition to Mars with humans on board?
Oh no, he’s loudly considered going private for $420 (a lol number) on Twitter, which would have been a great decision for the investor, since the price went to $3400. That’s totally different than repeated claims that humans will walk on Mars by 2030.
Regarding the topic, I’m surprised that they advertise like it was just another job. I was expecting that they would be actively vetting the most fit kids in high school or university, and directly targeting the best of the best. I thought you need to be young, super duper fit, and smart to become an astronaut?
And regarding future SpaceX astronauts: I think the people who volunteer to colonise the planet will be heroes using one metric, and suckers using the other. They will need to take many people there to establish a colony, so there will be a high demand for young fit people, but probably not enough supply, since who wants to risk their life and live in terrible conditions? So they will need some good propaganda, similar to what the US army used to lure young men without a life plan.
As far as I understand it, they want as many people a possible to apply, then they perform a battery of tests and vet those they’ll take into deeper consideration.
They also have a program for people with disabilities, based on the idea that we’re all disabled in space and that only technology allows us to get there, so we should be able to build technology that fits disabled people too (depending on the disability, of course).
The process makes sense to me. My bet is they don’t even read your CV or your cover letter until the later steps of the process. It’s also my understanding that you want to be fit, but not bulky. Space and resources are a luxury in space, high maintenance people seem to be at a disadvantage.
It takes a certain mindset but I trust we are many. Like the explorers setting on ships, ready to face illness and storms, not certain to even reach another shore. The difficulty for those who’ll vet us (speaking of “us” as “the people ready to go on such an adventure”) will be to sort the real adventurers from the deluded people with stars in the eyes (though, of course, to embark on such a journey, one has to be deluded to some extent).
It’s nice to know that not everybody can fathom the appeal of such expeditions, even with high risk of not even succeeding at leaving Earth, that shows we’ve got a good variety of personalities and are fit to face wildly varrying challenges as a society.
OK, I guess humanity has a healthy supply of explorers and people looking for a purpose in life. But in case of the colonists that went on ships, they were given a promise of a fresh start, a place with lots of free land for them to claim, where they had a small shot at making their life better than it was.
In case of going to Mars, you’re potentially looking at spending years in tiny spaces, getting exposure to low gravity, low light exposure and high radiation exposure and these limitations are not going to be overcome without at least a couple of generations of genetic engineering. I guess getting to Mars will be a piece of cake compared to actually living there
You have a point though, in my case, what I’m looking forward to is starting fresh at assessing natural hazard, resources management and exploration. The constant closeness and high stress environment would be a real challenge, though. I guess some people are attracted by that aspect and less by those that have appeal for me.
A lot of how sustainable life on Mars could be depends on how well we’ll be prepared when we get there (in terms of taking the right resources in the right amount, the community knowing each other and working well together and everybody knowing their job and how it plays into the global picture). The data we’re collecting now is critical.