Dec 18, 2021

The Right Stuff

Posted by in categories: employment, space

Astronauts have one of the most competitive jobs in the world — 18,300 people applied to be part of NASA’s 2017 class of astronauts, and only 12 made the final cut. But the process of finding astronauts with “the right stuff” has changed over time, and a lot of us Earthlings have the wrong idea about what NASA is looking for.

“I think a lot of the public conception is that we choose super-geniuses or super-jocks or super-pilots,” says Mike Barratt, a NASA astronaut and physician. “I would say that the astronaut office right now is full of people who are comfortable to be with. I mean, don’t get me wrong — we’ve got a couple of super-geniuses, but the main [goal] is that we’ve chosen well-rounded, well-behaved, professional people who are adaptable and resilient, and just someone you could see exploring a brand new world or locking yourself in a garage with for six months.”

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