Aspiring Space Explorer. Roboticist. Life-Long Learner. Geek.
Those are words I would use to describe myself and my passions. I specifically use the word passion because I think to achieve something like becoming an astronaut, you HAVE to be passionate about it. It has to be something that you obsess about, that drives your every action, and that pushes you through the challenges. My goal is to become a Martian, traveling to the red planet not just to leave “flags and footprints” as Buzz Aldrin would say, but to help humanity start a long-term settlement on Mars.
How does someone not only become an astronaut, but be among the first few to travel to Mars? When I set a goal of getting to Mars, I started with this question and started planning. I have a diverse background that serves as a solid foundation for applying to NASA’s astronaut program, but when I applied in 2016 I was not selected (to be fair, there were over 18k applicants and only 12 were selected). So this made me think about ways to gain more experience in areas relevant to astronauts today. I believe there are three areas to focus on to become a next generation space explorer: physical, intellectual, and psychological.
Being an astronaut requires putting your body through some of the most extreme conditions humans encounter. In addition to that, we don’t know about the long term effects of space on the human body. I will be exploring different ways to get your body ready for space travel while still on this great blue planet.
The astronauts of today require a broad set of skills to solve any problems they could encounter in space. So what do you need to learn? Well a background in engineering is extremely helpful because that experience teaches you how to break down and solve complex problems. But besides that Bachelors, Masters, or PhD education, where else do you look to learn the diverse skills needed? I will explore the areas of education I pursue and why they are relevant to becoming an astronaut.
Long gone are the Mercury days of single astronaut going into space all alone. However, the idea of leaving the only planet that humans have ever known still could have its share of psychological effects on the first Mars settlers. What is anticipated and how do you prepare for that kind of life-changing transition?
This blog will follow my pursuit of becoming an astronaut and hopefully inspire and guide others to pursue the same goal. Please follow me on here and Twitter to see how this journey progresses! I leave you with my favorite quote from Mike Massimino‘s book Spaceman “If you work hard and get help from good friends, you can overcome almost any challenge, no matter how great.” Together we can achieve more and I am not where I am today without the help and support of those around me. So let’s work together, learn from each other, and get our asses to Mars!
Thanks for reading and #MayTheFourthBeWithYou!