The latest class NASA astronauts Such opportunities have never existed before: two new commercially developed spacecraft designed to travel to the International Space Station, as well as a third capsule that will take astronauts to the moon.
This is the sharpest change in 10 years, with the only way to reach American space A Russian rocket.
SpaceX’s Dragon Space Successfully launched in May; Boeing is working Prepare its Starliner capsules For a fully-fledged flight sometime in 2021, and NASA expects Lockheed Martin’s Orion spacecraft to fly astronauts around the moon by 2023.
NASA’s 48-member astronaut corporation is keen on every endeavor. Houston, Texas. However, the categories selected from the pool of 18,000 applicants this year, like its predecessors, are full of chucks. Military officers And respected ScientistsHow they got the assignment remains a mystery – even to former astronauts.
Leroy Chiao Told the Washington Post earlier this week That choice “is also mysterious internally.”
The former NASA astronaut said, “At the astronaut’s office, we used to say that more mysterious than being on a crew was how you were chosen as an astronaut in the first place.
A NASA official told the Post that a number of factors were considered during the flight, but did not elaborate, saying the decisions were “personnel matters”.
The newspaper said that NASA plays its cards very close to the chest, one of the reasons being the public interest, which includes the interests of MPs and bias. Capitol Hill.
In addition, the enemy of uniformity in the U.S. military is team-working for dangerous sports and astronaut champion personalities.
Although experience and skills are very important, the key factor is what makes missions the most successful.
The Post described the International Space Station as “a kind of flight to Gilligan Island,” where everyone would have to bring their personal skills. Different backgrounds support The educational process For both seasonal astronauts and cheaters.
Former NASA Administrator Jim Brydenstein Congress And today, responsible for the tremendous progress that has benefited the astronaut’s core, he led the campaign entirely to raise the profile of his agency.
“I would like to see children grow up, instead of becoming professionals Games Star, I would love to see him grow up to be a NASA astronaut, or a NASA scientist, ”Brydenstein said in 2018.
He is now overseeing the biggest responsibility since Apollo: the crew The first flights to the moon in about 50 years.
Brydenstein’s goal is to send “the next man and the first woman” by 2024; Although unlikely, this is one Quick timeline set by the White House.
In 2023, Brydenstein planned to send astronauts to orbit the moon.
“When we are choosing the core of the astronauts to fly, they should be a reflection of the country as a whole,” Brydenstein said in an interview. “It’s about inspiration. We want everyone to be able to see for themselves what these American heroes are doing. ”