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NASA Selects 8 New Astronaut Trainees, Including 4 Women

timothy posted about a year ago | from the bruce-willis-in-the-wheel-well-with-a-pipe-wrench dept.

Space 136

illiteratehack writes "NASA has selected a 39-year-old chief technology officer to become a trainee astronaut. Josh Cassada is the current chief technology officer and co-founder of Quantum Opus, a firm that specialises in photonics. Cassada is one of eight individuals selected by NASA from 6,100 applicants for astronaut training, though what their future mission may be has yet to be revealed." Of the astronaut trainees selected, four of them are women — a new record.

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To Mars! (4, Funny)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year ago | (#44039995)

I think I've seen this Archer episode.

Re:To Mars! (1)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about a year ago | (#44040457)

I was actually thinking that with her hair color/style and uniform that Anne McClain had a vague resemblance to Amanda Tapping's character from SG1...

Why so many military folks? (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44040011)

I would think it would be easier to train PhDs to be astronauts than Military folks to be PhDs.

I get it that NASA started out testing planes, but there is nothing for the astronaut to fly anymore. Even the shuttle should have been automated.

Re:Why so many military folks? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040063)

Exactly. Manned space is just a cargo cult at this point. It's a way for well-connected A-type personalities to get an ego boost and a cheap thrill ride.

i have to agree... (0)

globaljustin (574257) | about a year ago | (#44041659)

partially at least...

Manned space is just a cargo cult at this point.

More like changing the oil in your car in a straight jacket following instructions from a blind person...watch some old ISS footage of spacewalks and other EVA and you'll see the poor Astronaut have to, essentially, report every move they make and get a 'yes/no' from Ground Control....every...move...'remove wrench from toolkit' takes 3 confirmations from ground...

'risk management' to the destructive degree...it's psychotic...death by bureaucracy

I appreciate where you are coming from though...

See, you're more right about this than any of us would want to admit:

It's a way for well-connected A-type personalities to get an ego boost and a cheap thrill ride.

It's that way **precisely because** real manned spaceflight has always been under the boot of the military/industrial/political bureaucracy.

Operational manned spaceflight means **trusting astronauts** and giving them alot of personal discretion....in the relative sense of course....a smart astronaut wants Mission Control to have thought of everything 3x...

But instead, unfortunately, NASA's manned spaceflight has become a weird sort of academic/bureacratic obstacle course which ends in a roller coaster ride...

That's how I see it...astronaut's call it "Waiting your turn"...

I chose not to go that route with my brief military career...so I'll always wonder...however, **MY** dream was to walk on other worlds...see new horizons with my own two eyes...be it asteroid or Mars or moon return...something...

I honestly feel like I would have to suppress alot of regret if I had worked so hard to become an Astronaut then had to 'get in line' with the others for my chance to play with a chemistry set in shiny metal alpine tent...

I wanted to **fly** to space damnit!

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44040095)

but there is nothing for the astronaut to fly anymore

Oh sure there is. Just not at this point in time. Unless you have an FTL radio to control complex deep space missions remotely.

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44040197)

Humans are not going into deep space. Even then a computer will still be a much better pilot. Moving the few light seconds up into orbit is not going to help that problem much.

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040465)

We are closer to getting humans into deep space than we are to make machines make autonomous decisions for unplanned events.

What we have now is remote controlled cars.

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44040531)

Citation please.
Voyager seems to be doing fine without humans.

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#44040683)

Voyager 1 & 2 do receive commands from NASA.

And they haven't had any unplanned events to deal with on their own.

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#44040737)

1. voyager does not support human life. we're still experimenting with long term life support technology, but it's not ready for a real mission.
2. voyager has no propulsion system required to reliably reach other systems. we are probably centuries away from this, if it ever happens.

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44040851)

1. Stupid idea. Adds unneeded cost just for PR and space nutters.
2. seems to be working fine in deep space

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#44041099)

1. I agree. For now anyway.
2. not if you actually want the craft to arrive at specific destinations reliably. Ballistics+thrusters work ok for in-system exploration but getting an unpowered craft to another star system is nearly impossible.

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44041161)

What start system is close enough for that?
Even if we could go some significant percentage of C it seems pretty unlikely to be worthwhile.

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#44041499)

you just said "seems to be working fine in deep space".

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year ago | (#44040883)

Heck...why even bother?

It isn't like we actually seem to have a valid space program anymore.

NASA has been decimated so badly in recent years, I'm thinking "new" astronauts are more for looks than any real substance.

What the hell are we gonna send them out on?

Re:Why so many military folks? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44041021)

It isn't like we actually seem to have a valid space program anymore.

It's because Obama put the nigger Charles Bolden in charge of NASA.

Bolden said in an interview,

"When I became the Nasa administrator, he [Mr Obama] charged me with three things.

"One, he wanted me to help reinspire children to want to get into science and math; he wanted me to expand our international relationships; and third, and perhaps foremost he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering."

Direct quote. The CHIEF of NASA. Put in by Obama. Saying their #1 goal is not science, but making Muslims "feel good".

Are you happy now, you fucktards? That's what you get when you elect someone whose middle name is "HUSSEIN" for fucks sake.

But hey, at least Palin is not VP, right?

You people are disgusting.

Re:Why so many military folks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040101)

And when something goes wrong?

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44040133)

They are just as screwed as they are now.

Humans cause most of those things that go wrong. Look at flight crash statistics for proof of that. Better yet take the humans out of the space craft all together.

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year ago | (#44040553)

humans on the ground (sloppy maintenence crew), not the human in control.
big difference.
humans in control have much larger history of saving the day or mitigating/reducing the tragedy than they do of causing the tragedy.

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44040643)

BS, look at flight crashes. Hell look at that t-38 crash in your link.

Humans period make tons of mistakes. Their are entire categories they are so common, like "controlled flight into terrain."

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#44040689)

Apparently you haven't read any flight crash findings. Most are pilot error.

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44040979)

humans in control have much larger history of saving the day or mitigating/reducing the tragedy than they do of causing the tragedy

Which results only in them saving their own asses. It's pretty silly to send someone someplace were the justification is so that they can save themselves. Why not save a bunch of money and leave them on the ground? Almost all useful scientific and practical work has been done by unmanned missions, for a small fraction of the price. If some of those unmanned missions crash and burn for lack of the heroic human touch, it's just part of the price of doing business, and still a lot cheaper than manned missions.

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

KernelMuncher (989766) | about a year ago | (#44041695)

It's not always about minimizing the cost of missions. It's also about maximizing public support (and Congressional $$ ) for the work. And nothing gets people enthusiastic like having them see a human being jumping around on a moon or another planet (see Armstrong, Neil).

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

ssam (2723487) | about a year ago | (#44040507)

"This sort of thing has cropped up before and it has always been due to human error." -- HAL9000

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44040877)

Shut up HAL, you were deactivated 12 years ago.

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

ssam (2723487) | about a year ago | (#44040919)

I'm sorry I can't do that ebno.

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44041317)

One thing Clarke and Kubrick correctly predicted is what a pain in the ass computers are.

Re:Why so many military folks? (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44040147)

I gather that they know what they are doing, but I imagine that "makes decisions well while under pressure" might be a pretty big criteria that might already be tested in a military pilot.

Re:Why so many military folks? (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44040231)

Why?
What decisions will they be making?
What experiment to run next?

Everything is done with checklists, and it is not like there is any need for a pilot.

My bet is they select these folks for PR reasons or other political BS.

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44040483)

I can't speculate on their "real" reasons for selection, but I think it doesn't take much research to find examples of things going very wrong in space [wikipedia.org] . I have been in situations with people where they reacted quite badly, so I don't think I'm going out on a limb here.

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44040565)

Checkout how many of those are caused by human error.

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44040667)

OK, but humans are by definition still in the manned spaceflight program.

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44040825)

Eliminate one word and the problem is solved.

Re:Why so many military folks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44041285)

Spaceflight?

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44041599)

Well, it's kind of a separate discussion, but personally I support efforts to keep man in space.

Re:Why so many military folks? (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#44040741)

Military pilots are, from even before astronaut training, also more likely to understand the acceleration stress of a launch, and to be reasonably comfortable when the realization hits that they're strapped to a giant rocket whose goal is to explode fast enough to hurl them into orbit, but slow enough to not kill them.

Human brains aren't evolved for this kind of treatment, so it takes a good deal of psychological training to function appropriately under the conditions of spaceflight. In addition to the rapid sequence of events, the acceleration, and the small space, there's the nagging feeling that the shaking, roaring beast is going to end in a sudden yet painful death. I imagine it to be like playing chess on a shaky roller coaster (without gluing down the pieces), but worse.

Re:Why so many military folks? (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44041415)

Military pilots are ... reasonably comfortable when the realization hits that they're strapped to a giant rocket whose goal is to explode fast enough to hurl them into orbit, but slow enough to not kill them.

While the engineers who designed that not-quite-bomb sit a mile away behind several feet of reinforced concrete. The obvious inference is that pilots are not too bright.

Re:Why so many military folks? (2)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44040161)

the Naval and Air Force Academies are some of the best engineering schools in the world. You have to be in the top 5% or higher in your high school class to even be considered to attend. and they have phd's as well

Re:Why so many military folks? (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44040245)

Oh wow, top 5% of a highschool class. That seems like a pretty low mark unless it is a hell of a high school.

Then why does everyone talk about going to MIT and not the Air Force Academy?

Re:Why so many military folks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040265)

Oh wow, top 5% of a highschool class. That seems like a pretty low mark unless it is a hell of a high school.

I imagine they get a lot of rote memorization geniuses that way.

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

hierofalcon (1233282) | about a year ago | (#44040409)

Probably the fact that when you graduate you aren't as likely to get shot at by hostile fire. If you do a cost benefit ratio between military and civilian, military doesn't look bad if you stay in long enough. But that getting shot at as part of the job description thing really does slow down the potential applicants. The fact that they are moving to more and more drone based missions doesn't help either.

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year ago | (#44040605)

because its harder to get into the AFA.
seriously, you are a bloody tool and you're just as ignorant on this topic as you are on every other.

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44040989)

because its harder to get into the AFA

But a much better place to harass women.

Re:Why so many military folks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040713)

The US Military academies are some of the most selective Universities out there. That doesn't make them the best in the world, that just means that there are many more applicants than seats available. That being said, the US Military academies have some of the best engineering schools in the world... it just has nothing to do with their selectiveness.

Re:Why so many military folks? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040307)

I wish they'd just give us what we all want. Pictures of the women astronauts.

Re:Why so many military folks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040341)

Because at least some astronauts are required to be pilots with so many hours experiences in jets. Overwhelmingly this experience is easiest to find in the military. Did you fly your own jet to work today?

Re:Why so many military folks? (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44040367)

Why?
There is no need for that. The shuttle should have been automated like buran. Dragon does not need a pilot.

Re:Why so many military folks? (4, Informative)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year ago | (#44040861)

the Buran flew once.
it did so and was developed over 10 years after the shuttle and was nothing more than a cheaper smaller copy of the shuttle.
it only flew automated because it was unmanned, as befits a test flight that they dont even know will work (believe it or not, even the russians didnt want to risk losing astronauts...they're kinda hard to replace)
it never flew again.
it never did anything again.
and "From the very beginning Buran was intended to be used in both fully automatic and manual mode", meaning it was ntended to have people, and people in control. if we had had the tech to test the shuttle unmanned initially (and recover it), we likely would have too before moving to manned missions.

and if youre going to have people along for the ride anyway (EVA, repair the Hubble, experiments, etc etc) it makes no sense for them to be at the mercy of a computer that might fail when you could just as easily add some extra training so they can fly the damn thing if need be and add yet another layer of safety to the system and increase the odds of everyone's survival.

meanwhile there are multiple instances where the has shuttle faced a problem inflight that either did require the pilot to correct, or potentially would have, and the technology to have an automated system recover the aircraft did not exist at that time. moreover, several of these incidents would have called into question the ability of such a system to make the right corrections. spaceflight and launch and recovery is a very dynamic scenario encompassing multiple modes of flight. the pilot IS the computer you seek capable of taking all the data being fed him by the hundreds of men in mission control and performing the correct actions, and he's easier to train and produce than such a multi-modal control computer.
1985 July 29: STS-51-F: Space Shuttle in-flight engine failure. They almost aborted launch and detached the shuttle frm the boosters engines before reaching altitude in order to fly cross atlantic to a recovery field. No computer at the time could have handled such a maneuver. Even today it owuld be hard pressed thing to do...its rather hard to test and develop such a system because you dont exactly go around destroying shuttles to perfect a system. (they ended up aborting to orbit rather than aborting to xatlantic)

1999 July 23: STS-93: main engine electrical short and hydrogen leak: Five seconds after liftoff, an electrical short knocked out controllers for two shuttle main engines. The engines automatically switched to their backup controllers. Had a further short shut down two engines, Columbia would have ditched in the ocean, although the crew could have possibly bailed out. Concurrently a pin came loose inside one engine and ruptured a cooling line, allowing a hydrogen fuel leak. This caused premature fuel exhaustion, but the vehicle safely achieved a slightly lower orbit. Had the failure propagated further, a risky transatlantic or RTLS abort would have been required.

1981 Apr 12: Columbia STS-1 - the perfect example of why your computer still needs a pilot. the computer demands predictable flight characteristics. but if you pay attention, in the very first shuttle flight a flight control was knocked out of alignment. A computer cannot handle such a thing. A computer cannot "feel its way" through the modifed flight envelope.

Re:Why so many military folks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040987)

The shuttle design process started in 1968. The computers of the day couldn't automate a toaster. Even today, when you take a commercial flight, there is a pilot. Just because it's space doesn't make it some special magical world where things work like they do in sci-fi.

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44040845)

Did you fly your own jet to work today?

No, but when I got there I sat in front of a computer. That's how space exploration should be done.

Re:Why so many military folks? (4, Insightful)

Shinobi (19308) | about a year ago | (#44040585)

Most military pilots already have a fair amount of schooling in science and engineering, as part of becoming pilots.

Add to that the fact that military pilots, during their entire training, are taught to operate under heavy physical and mental stress, while following instructions from remote Controllers, and also to handle their plane according to check-lists and routines, as well as crisis management, and teamwork. Then there's also the routine psychological check-ups in many armed forces, which means you have fewer people with mental disorders that can disrupt team cohesion/efficiency(ADHD, Asperger etc etc). There's also the fact that the military people also are used to strict daily physical excercise.

On the other hand, many PHD's don't do much in the way of physical excercise at all, and for those who do, most only gym or similar light excercise a couple of times per week, they have no training in working under a combination of psychological AND physical pressure, no crisis management, little in the way of deep, life-dependant teamwork etc. Many have a deep-seated resentment against "jocks", mental disorders such as ADHD, Asperger etc are not exactly uncommon among PHD's etc, meaning the available candidate pool becomes very small.

There are exceptions of course.... But it's not weird that the military is a readily-available candidate pool.

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44040661)

Thanks for the good answer.
I had not considered the team stuff at all.

I still think we should look to getting rid of astronauts, but at least that makes sense.

Re:Why so many military folks? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44040793)

You make good arguments for why a military pilot is a good choice for a pointless position. Never send a human to do a computers job.

Re:Why so many military folks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44041303)

Many have a deep-seated resentment against "jocks", mental disorders such as ADHD, Asperger etc are not exactly uncommon among PHD's etc, meaning the available candidate pool becomes very small.

So do many people in the military. Even with the routine check-ups, many of those issues can still be highly functional or otherwise not a noticeable issue in many environments.

Posts like this aren't so much a reason to go with people from the military, but suggest that they should do psychological and physical fitness screening of candidates, which they already do. Considering the small number of people they are interested in, it is quite easy to find more than enough people who qualify on those grounds, military or not. The question then becomes what skill-set do they want. The ability to operate and repair things, both experiments and critical equipment, is probably going to factor more into the final selection, once they got the easy stuff like fitness out of the way.

Re:Why so many military folks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44041677)

And thats why for a mission to Mars we should send submariners (engineers, doctors, and the rest)

Re:Why so many military folks? (0)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44041433)

NASA should just be honest and hire a bunch of PR people. That's 99% of what they're going to end up doing anyway. You don't need a Ph.D. in physics to sit around in LEO on a space station, doing podcasts for schoolkids.

Astronaut Trainees (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040029)

What space ship will they be flying in?

Re:Astronaut Trainees (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44040047)

Dragon, I would guess.

Re:Astronaut Trainees (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040073)

What space ship will they be flying in?

Soyuz ?Otherwise these guys will be dead by the time the next american capsule/spaceship is ready to go.

Re:Astronaut Trainees (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year ago | (#44040239)

What space ship will they be flying in?

Soyuz ?Otherwise these guys will be dead by the time the next american capsule/spaceship is ready to go.

Shouldn't we be saying "cosmonauts"?

Re:Astronaut Trainees (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44040219)

What space ship will they be flying in?

I've heard that NASA was making a technology transfer deal with Edward Makuka Nkoloso.

Good thing they selected some women (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040093)

Someone needs to make sandwiches for the other astronauts.

Re:Good thing they selected some women (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040273)

s/for/with/

Re:Good thing they selected some women (2)

lightknight (213164) | about a year ago | (#44040593)

Actually, this is a good thing. Women in general weigh less than men, which, when it comes to payload calculations, is something you do care about; neurologically speaking, they are as capable as men. The only downsides are the traditional ones -> should an oddball scenario arise where having that much more extra upper body strength is somehow the difference between life and death (the space station is pushed out of orbit, and you need to realign the Space Shuttle engines feeds with a giant crowbar, or face a fiery re-entry), and gender wars (you absolutely can't have one on a space shuttle / space station...you have a job to do, any strife / problems that arise must be resolved quickly and decisively). I do recall that NASA does not have a spotless track record here: Lisa Nowak [wikipedia.org] . On the plus side, they do tend to eat less than men, and probably consume less air, so if the Space Shuttle somehow is dislodged with a meteor while simultaneously taking out the cafeteria / life support / Soyuz capsule, you actually stand a fair chance of surviving long enough for a new one to arrive.

Re:Good thing they selected some women (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040791)

Also shorter people tend to withstand g-forces better. /inb4 "then why don't we have a midget space program?"

Re:Good thing they selected some women (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44041007)

Dude, man up. You sound like a little whiny liberal.

they have kitchens in space? (2, Funny)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44040117)

i though they didn't need to cook their food up there

Re:they have kitchens in space? (0)

RenderSeven (938535) | about a year ago | (#44040551)

Spacecraft need cleaning too. Though Russian craft then to vacuum themselves...

In Soviet Russian Spacecraft, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44041349)

In Soviet Russian Spacecraft,

Vacuum cleans you!

8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040119)

As long as we don't lose them seven at a time, one would think we should be ok for a while, right?

Re:8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040169)

NASA: Need Another Seven Astronauts.

Should I assume they will be known as NAEA now?

goods news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040155)

Now they can film two 2 C's in a K commercials at once. IN SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCCCEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

What's going on? (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about a year ago | (#44040159)

12 comments, 0 sexist joke?! What happened to /. :-)

Re:What's going on? (1)

Zapotek (1032314) | about a year ago | (#44040215)

That's not funny!

Re:What's going on? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#44040257)

Six minutes late. Must have stopped to pee.

Re:What's going on? (1)

richlv (778496) | about a year ago | (#44040481)

not even as a joke, but... maybe nasa is looking towards more long term missions, the ones where sending 7 guys and one female wouldn't be the brightest idea ?
make it 50/50 and you have higher chances of them staying happy.

Re:What's going on? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040941)

It was taken over by a bunch of pandering, spineless, 'politically correct' losers about 12 years ago.

Re:What's going on? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44041051)

12 comments, 0 sexist joke?! What happened to /. :-)

Quoting directly from the IMDb, this is what came to mind:etal: Dr. Strangelove. "General "Buck" Turgidson: Doctor, you mentioned the ratio of ten women to each man. Now, wouldn't that necessitate the abandonment of the so-called monogamous sexual relationship, I mean, as far as men were concerned? "

Ep^!? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040175)

is EFNet, and y0u otHers what to

Here's the list (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040285)

Because the summary couldn't be bothered. [nasa.gov]

Five are military (four are Navy test pilots, surprising no one, the fifth is a doctor), and the other three are useful Ph.D.s. Cassada really is the only standout among them, because he's a physicist, not a CTO, by training (which will make the scientific community at least a little happier about manned space missions). Meir is an enigma for sure, but makes sense from a strategic standpoint: she's done some time for NASA at JSC and Lockheed Martin doing human experiments and working with astronauts on the ISS, is interested in astrobiology, and worked at Aquarius Underwater Laboratory [slashdot.org] , which was later used to simulate an asteroid mission [space.com] last year.

All of them are mostly in their mid to late 30s, which means the next class of astronauts are likely to be Millenials: all you shiny new Ph.D.s should start polishing your resumes for space!

Re:Here's the list (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44041455)

four are Navy test pilots

Well, it takes a lot of flight training to sit strapped in a chair while the Russians drive.

Gender is front page? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040293)

Women will have made real progress when their participation isn't considered newsworthy.

I though we moved past female astronauts as a newsworth novelty decades ago.

Re:Gender is front page? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040447)

Yeah, it sounds to me a lot like a title "Affirmative Action in Action!"

Re:Gender is front page? (0)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#44041001)

Cultural marxists must always push as though they've made no headway because it helps ramp up the sensationalism...and taxpayer funded privilege.

I don't mind having female astronauts. I have a problem with astronauts being chosen because they're female instead of having the best qualifications. That is sexist by definition, and is wrong if gender has no relevance here. I don't know whether these women were chosen in this way, but considering cultural trends these days, it's a possibility.

Re:Gender is front page? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44041529)

Well, you can bet that if the top 7 candidates were all white or Asian men, that at least three of them would have been bumped for women and a token black guy.

How much did he pay? (1)

zitsky (303560) | about a year ago | (#44040413)

How much did that CTO pay for his spot? He was really that much better than 6,000 other people?

Re:How much did he pay? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44041111)

How much did that CTO pay for his spot? He was really that much better than 6,000 other people?

Hopefully he paid a lot. In the 21st century astronauts are just characters to play Buck Rogers. Sell the seats to the highest bidders and use the money to do some useful space science instead.

Space brothers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040509)

To all of you criticizing the NASA selection process and astronaut requirements without knowing sh*t about it, you should see an anime called "Space Brothers" (http://myanimelist.net/anime/12431/Uchuu_Kyoudai) where the main characters tries to become an astronaut in NASA.
I also don't know sh*t about the real selection process, but at least I don't criticize it cluelessly.

Re:Space brothers (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#44041025)

NASA is a government agency. This guarantees that any candidate selection process is loaded with politically correct assumptions and discriminators.

Re:Space brothers (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about a year ago | (#44041597)

The ridiculous programs the trainees go through in that show make for good television, but it isn't even remotely based in reality.

Post to undo mods (1)

mindsofpsi (2297452) | about a year ago | (#44040511)

Ignore me.

Too bad thtey don't have a ride. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040517)

Since NASA currently has no capability to get them into space, what was the point?

Potemkin space program (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040539)

Training 'astronauts' for make believe missions on a make believe launcher. If any money existed to pay for asteroid mission hardware the NEA would claim it [spacepolitics.com] just like they claimed Constellation.

Do the math.... Babies.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040659)

8 astronauts.... 4 of them women... that means that 4 of them were men......
They are pairing up for the greatest experiment of all time.....

That's right Moon Raker fans....
Shaggin' in Space.
Space Babies!!!!

Of course a new record... (-1, Flamebait)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about a year ago | (#44041059)

This is the age of tokenism and they clearly set out to pick 4 women. A simple statistical analysis of their candidate pool will tell you it's highly unlikely that half of the _best_ candidates would be women.

Re:Of course a new record... (0)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#44041163)

Of course, but it makes perfect sense if you accept the pillars of political correctness as truth. viva la revolucion!!

On a related note... (3, Funny)

bradgoodman (964302) | about a year ago | (#44041085)

I am recruiting astronauts for my own agency, to fly my own manned spacecraft fleet - which I am proud to say is just as large as NASAs.

Four PASSENGERS, not astronauts... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44041397)

If women are 'the same as men', let an all female NASA build their OWN rockets, guidance systems, computers, etc.etc.etc. and let them do it on their own.

ALL of these women are PASSENGERS, that is all they are, denying four deserving men of the chance to become astronauts.

What next? All eight passengers to be Haitians? How about Australian aborigines? I hear their average IQ is under 70, that should be fun.

What a sick joke NASA and the Western world has become, tyrannised by Jewish communists and forced to go along with this bullshit until our countries have been completely destroyed by 'diversity'.

Are you sick of this yet?

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