Sunday, June 21, 2009

Astronaut(s) For Hire

I follow a blog called Astronaut For Hire and it's author, Brian Shiro, is also one of my blog followers. Yesterday while I was NOT writing, and lazing around the house groaning about my achy muscles (got a little ahead of my capabilities with the free weights and probably need to dial it back a notch), one of his buddies from astronaut screening was writing a truly exhilarating guest post.

Major Jack Fischer, one of the finalists awaiting NASA's 2009 selection decision, penned an artful essay entitled "Passion For Space," which I highly recommend. These are the calibre of people striving to be your next Earth representatives, people! ;) My two favorite excerpts:

"People do not typically get involved with space because they want to be wealthy or because they yearn for fame – they do it because they love the constant challenge of a changing environment, because they want to be part of something bigger than themselves ... because they are inspired dreamers. "

Astronaut For Hire
Major Jack Fischer (right), 411th Flight Test Squadron F-22 Raptor pilot, explains controls in an F-16 Fighting Falcon cockpit to 14-year-old Avi Khanian during the "Pilot for a Day" tour at Edwards Airforce Base.

"We have an opportunity, with the Constellation program, that we have not had for decades. An endeavor that can ignite the most noble aspects of the human soul, so that we might elevate our vision beyond the everyday, and help the human race take its next evolutionary step. No longer confined to Low Earth Orbit, mankind can once again explore – the Moon, Mars, and beyond..."

Spend some time and look through Brian's previous posts, he has some great material on his own experience with NASA, the astronaut selection processes across Europe and Canada, and hey, we'll all be able to see him on the Discovery Science Channel soon!

He is going to be on the 12th team to simulate a "mission to Mars" in the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS), a habitat on Devon Island.

In order to prepare for Mars exploration, the Mars Society equips and trains volunteers to serve in rotations in the Canadian arctic. Talk about the ultimate in analog research! This and many other habitats around the world are crucial "live laboratories" where scientists can simulate how to live and work on Mars. NASA has even tested prototype lunar rovers there.

Good luck Brian, stay warm!