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NASA Wants "People People" for Astronaut Core

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the hope-there-is-still-a-little-steel dept.

Space 86

Hugh Pickens writes "Astronauts are the ultimate Type A personalities but that can backfire during a long stay in space so NASA is taking applications for a new crop of astronauts whose main duties are to conduct experiments, keep the station running and stay in their crewmates' good graces. For that, NASA needs an affable, tolerant guy or gal who is more researcher than jet jockey. 'You need to be more of a people person' to serve on the station, says astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, who has flown on the space shuttle and commanded the station. 'You can't just be steely-eyed, no matter how competent.' Coping skills are crucial on a station mission, which lasts three to six months, compared with 11 to 15 days for a shuttle mission. 'Anybody can get along with anybody for a couple of weeks,' says psychiatry professor Nick Kanas who studies astronaut behavior. After a month or two, 'being with somebody for that long starts to wear on you. The jokes get stale. You have to learn new ways of interacting.'"

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So the Core is it? (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22297904)

Do we get to go underground and kickstart the core?

Corps! (2, Insightful)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22297920)

Slashdot needs literate editors!

Terrible! (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22298220)

It shocks me to the corps!

Ghost in the Machine (1)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22298296)

Esprit de Core?

Re:Corps! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22300032)

perhaps you are reading into the statement what was not intended to be there? While it is quite common to use the term 'astronaut corps' - op may have intended to use the word 'crop' as written. Synonyms: batch, group, class, etc...

Corps and core (1)

wasted (94866) | more than 6 years ago | (#22302698)

They are concerned with the main group of astronauts, that is, the core of the corps. The periphery of the corps (those who are astronauts but won't be on the long mission) can be type A, "I-win-at-any-cost" types, but the core of the corps cannot be that way, lest a personality conflict results in one or more of the core of the corps returning to Earth as a corpse.

Re:Corps! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22312190)

Slashdot needs literate editors!
From the article photo caption:

They're traits include sensitivity and congeniality, which is something....
Apparently so does USA Today. "They're" is a contraction of "They are".

Prostitutes (3, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#22297924)

So basically they're looking for people that would help astronauts remain sane and cool during long stays in space. Have they considered prostitutes?

Hookers and Firetrucks! (1)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22297952)

nuff said.

Re:Prostitutes (3, Funny)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 6 years ago | (#22298078)

I agree.

All they need is a space station with blackjack and hookers!

Well, forget the blackjack.

And the space station.

0G sex! (1)

Darfeld (1147131) | more than 6 years ago | (#22299082)

Why forget the space station? I would pay a lot for 0G sex!

Marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22303352)

[Big Text!!!~omgfrenchfries1] Zero-G Fantasy Adventure: the Ultimate Bondage Scenario! *woman moans loudly in the background* [Image of two people fucking inside an anchored sleeping bag]

Re:Prostitutes (4, Funny)

Rei (128717) | more than 6 years ago | (#22298094)

I don't think relationships of any kind in space are a particularly good idea [cnn.com] .

Astronaut Qualification Test (1 question)

1. (100 points): If you had a wig, pepper spray, an adult diaper, a new steel mallet, a knife, rubber tubing, and a large garbage bag, what would you do with them?

Re:Prostitutes (5, Informative)

jo42 (227475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22298722)

Build a CO2 scrubber?

Please mod parent up! (1)

CptNerd (455084) | more than 6 years ago | (#22298916)

Excellent!

Re:Prostitutes (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 6 years ago | (#22298756)

If you had a wig, pepper spray, an adult diaper, a new steel mallet, a knife, rubber tubing, and a large garbage bag, what would you do with them?

Party like it's 1999!
When do I get my space wings?

Re:Prostitutes (1)

rhyder128k (1051042) | more than 6 years ago | (#22304322)

"1. (100 points): If you had a wig, pepper spray, an adult diaper, a new steel mallet, a knife, rubber tubing, and a large garbage bag, what would you do with them?"

Apply my years of experience with Lucas Arts point and click adventure games by making use of a literal pun.

Re:Prostitutes (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306548)

If you had a wig, pepper spray, an adult diaper, a new steel mallet, a knife, rubber tubing, and a large garbage bag, what would you do with them?
Reminds me of college...

Re:Prostitutes (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 6 years ago | (#22318052)

Spice Weasel? - BAM !

Re:Prostitutes (1)

Mister White (892068) | more than 6 years ago | (#22298156)

...right, but then the astronauts come back broke. I suppose they could use crack whores, but then you have the disease factor. Tough one.

One thing's for sure...strippers are out. 100k a year is nothing when you spend a few hours every day with strippers on the final frontier.

Re:Prostitutes (1)

rudeboy1 (516023) | more than 6 years ago | (#22298966)

You're forgetting this is a government funded project. I can't wait to see the RFP sheet for hookers in space. Of course, it doesn't make me want to be an astronaut when you know the project manager is going to ultimately take the lowest bidder.

Re:Prostitutes (3, Funny)

Garridan (597129) | more than 6 years ago | (#22298234)

Hmm... that wasn't what the engineers meant when they added "tang" to the pre-flight checklist... but hey, it'd do for me!

Re:Prostitutes (5, Interesting)

dtml-try MyNick (453562) | more than 6 years ago | (#22298520)

For a short stay it's just a humorous thought at most, most sane humans can cope with a few sexless months.(though sex in space seems like a lot of fun ;p)
But I wonder what NASA is planning to do on longer spaceflights, say 2 to 5 years orso.

If we ever get to the point of far distance human exploring, human interaction including the sexual kind is something that needs to be carefully thought of. I assume they'd want a mixed group of males and females to keep some kind of balance.
It would be inevitable that at least some of them would get a desire for sex during such a long stay. Even if it's just to get some stress relief. One could argue that you should let nature take it's course just as we do in our every day life, but the situation there would be kind of different.

For example, say if you'd have 5 man and 5 woman. And by chance NASA picked 5 stonecoldfreezing woman who'd have no problems with a few years of celibacy and a few of the guys have a bit above average of testosterone... I can imagine some disasterous situations.

Anyone have any idea how these kind of social interaction problems are being dealt with at NASA?

Re:Prostitutes (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#22298734)

most sane humans can cope with a few sexless months.

Make it 261 for me. Maybe NASA needs virgin astronauts?

And by chance NASA picked 5 stonecoldfreezing woman who'd have no problems with a few years of celibacy and a few of the guys have a bit above average of testosterone...

Sounds like MTV's A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila [wikipedia.org] (12 hardcore lesbians and 12 horny males put together in the same house)

Re:Prostitutes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22299152)

> But I wonder what NASA is planning to do on longer spaceflights, say 2 to 5 years or so.

Slashdotters.

//10+ years and counting. Don't miss it.

Re:Prostitutes (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 6 years ago | (#22315284)

Haha only serious. If you don't know what you're missing, you don't miss it. Before meeting my fiancee, I'd gone... let's see, 8 months, and a before that episode, years. I obviously would have liked more nookie but it was dealable. Now that we've been living together, a couple of DAYS and I'm getting jumpy. :P So yeah, many slashdotters may be comfortable spending extended periods of time with Rosie Palm and the internets, and thus suitable for long space flights... hell, it's not like the stereotypical geek goes outside all that often anyway. :P

Articles about sex in space (1)

Steve Hamlin (29353) | more than 6 years ago | (#22302078)

Anyone have any idea how these kind of social interaction problems are being dealt with at NASA?

From several articles (granted, somewhat mainstream), it doesn't seem like there is much publicly-available research on human psychological reactions to sexual issues in long-term spaceflight. I would be surprised if there isn't a more robust body of serious literature in sociology & human behavior journals, and inside NASA, ESA and others.

---

These links are more about alleged events, and short-term issues (mechanical & biological). I remember reading the first when Lisa Nowak was news:

"Do Astronauts Have Sex? In space, no one can hear you moan." [slate.com] - article from Slate.com "Slate's The Explainer thanks Bob Jacobs of NASA and Laura Woodmansee, author of 'Sex in Space.'"

Other Links:

Outer-space sex carries complications [msn.com]
Article about book 'Sex in Space' [spaceref.com]
ISS On-Orbit Pregnancy Test procedures [spaceref.com]

---

Off-topic - I recommend the column "The Explainer" on Slate.com [slate.com] . Answers to questions that relate to current news (often with a basic or off-beat slant)

Example footer from the space sex article with related links to other Slate articles:

"Felix Gillette explained how space shuttles fly home. Daniel Engber revealed what exactly space tourists do. Dan Kois also wondered where the atmosphere ends and space begins. Chris Suellentrop argued that astronauts shouldn't be considered heroes. Gregg Easterbrook called the space program a big ol' waste of money. After the Columbia disaster in 2003, David Owen pointed out it's a waste of life, too."


Re:Prostitutes (2, Interesting)

mbrother (739193) | more than 6 years ago | (#22304068)

Sex in space is more complicated than you might think.

A couple of years ago I had an idea for a quasi-non-fiction book in the tradition of the Zombie Survival Guide. Not as creative or as fun. Okay, less creative but more fun. It would be Sex in Space: A Manual for Tourists, written as if it were a few decades in the future and honeymooners could vacation at a space hotel. Inside would be dos and don'ts, guides to which lubes would pose the fewest problems, instructions for how to use various gear in space to keep you and your partner together, etiquette for threesomes (common among dolphins/whales in the ocean who face problems with rebounding away), etc. I was sort of excited about the idea for the book for a while, and then discovered someone else had been as well. There was already a book Sex in Space.

Well, that dampened my enthusiasm. Laura Woodmansee's book has some strengths, but isn't as fun as mine would have been in my not so humble opinion. There's some overlap with ideas I had, and one part just has to be seen to be appreciated. She has a section about the "space kama sutra" that she illustrates with naked action figures "Buck" and "Barbarella" that includes one photo of a dolphin helping out in a threesome and another of one bondage rig. She also describes toys and apparatuses to strap people together using Velcro. Give her big creativity points for all that. She also has a short section on "sexy science fiction" where sex in space in science fiction is discussed.

So I'm not planning to write my version any more as a lot of items would be redundant, but as a science fiction writer who does write stories set in space and who teaches other writers about the space environment, I'm always interesting in learning more about sex in space. Purely research you see.

Woodmansee cannot absolutely confirm the claims that there has been sex in space, both on the part of Americans and Russians, that some others have made. If true, I'm sure it was for research, too. Dedication to science and knowledge, that sort of thing.

In the final days of Mir, there apparently was a porn movie planned to raise money. The plot involved sending up a woman to seduce a reluctant cosmonaut into leaving the station. It never got off the ground, unfortunately, which would have allowed some, ahem, hard data to be obtained about the particulars of sex in space.

What did get off the ground was the Uranus Experiment, as in "I'm not an astronaut but I will send a probe to a Uranus" as seen on t-shirts in my closet. Yeah, that "Uranus." In the late 1990s a porn movie (actually an entire trilogy) was shot using NASA's "vomit comet" which is a plane flying parabolic trajectories that allows several minutes of freefall at a time. The weightless scenes in the movie Apollo 13 were shot on the vomit comet, but no sex scenes. There was a different case for the Uranus Experiment. Or so I'm told. Google your own link to DVDs which can be found at sale prices (and should be deductible if you're a science fiction writer like myself, assuming I'm not too embarrassed to show my accountant the receipt). Woodmansee missed this movie in her book, unfortunately. Anyone seen it willing to admit it and weigh in on weightless sex? Or at least the acting?

And I can't decide if it would be better or worse than sex on Earth. More memorable maybe, but more problematic. And who wants to get hit by stray floaters of any sort?

I'm a stickler for getting the scientific details right in my novels, so I have no choice but to do the research. My readers demand it of me. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. With Velcro.

Re:Prostitutes (1)

azuredrake (1069906) | more than 6 years ago | (#22304694)

Start training toddlers, and send 'em by the time they're seven. Pre-screen them for early puberty, too. That, or just use robots. :)

Re:Prostitutes (1)

afxgrin (208686) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306394)

"Anyone have any idea how these kind of social interaction problems are being dealt with at NASA?"

LOL - I imagine the way people deal with these social interaction problems in many places around the world - ALCOHOL.

Re:Prostitutes (1)

Sta7ic (819090) | more than 6 years ago | (#22298656)

Although amusing, NASA already discarded the idea. They have a higher charge-out rate than the astronauts, their science experiments are invalid and off-topic, and the conservatives in Congress refused to approve their funding.

In the end, it was decided that a reprogramable Fem-Bot was the best of both worlds, required less input mass over time since they didn't need food or water, and were curiously flexible and patient with more conventional scientific monitoring.

Re:Prostitutes (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#22299562)

Pff! Hookers? If I have learned nothing else from Star Trek, it is that astronauts can get all of the space poontang they want at no charge! Captain Kirk and Commander Riker (pre-beard) are both prime examples of this.

Re:Prostitutes (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 6 years ago | (#22299586)

The thing with prostitutes is that you don't pay them to stay, you pay them to leave.

Bringing them up to the ISS for extended periods would defeat the point.

- RG>

Let me be the first to say (2, Funny)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 6 years ago | (#22297986)

The Simpsons [wikipedia.org] did it first!

NASA Wants "People People" for Astronaut Core... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22298008)

... and they've decided Slashdot is the place to look for them.

Note to moderators: the above is "+5 Funny"

Really?! (1)

andreio (1233092) | more than 6 years ago | (#22298030)

Wow, NASA think "in advance", but let's hope they will these people in their lifetimes ...

Heinlein (3, Informative)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 6 years ago | (#22298040)

I can't help but think of the opening chapter of Stranger in a Strange Land where they try to find the most compatible crew possible. Good luck with that guys.

Hint: Foot-kilograms is not a unit of measure for crew compatibility.

Re:Heinlein (1)

kongit (758125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22299482)

Well kilograms per foot could have some effect. I would not want to be locked in a space station with a 36 kg/ft man or woman. Of course the more proper measurement is kg per meter so I would not want to be couped up with a 118 kg/m person. Maybe I am just wierd or something.

Re:Heinlein (1)

plover (150551) | more than 6 years ago | (#22301676)

Ha, I couldn't help but thinking of Tom from Office Space talking to the two Bobs:

"I already told you, I deal with the goddamn customers so the engineers don't have to. I have people skills!! I am good at dealing with people. Can't you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?!?"

Working Class in Space (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22298136)

"The best thing to do is just to freeze him. Stop the goddam disease. He can get a doctor to look at him when we get back home."

"Right."

"Whenever he says anything you say `right,' Brett, you know that?"

"Right."

"Parker, what do you think? Your staff just follows you around and says `right,' Just like a regular parrot."

"Yeah, shape up. What are you, some kind of parrot?"

"Right."

In flight beverage? (3, Funny)

esocid (946821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22298164)

Are they serving complimentary Tang? If so, sign me up.

Re:In flight beverage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22299780)

The Tang is complimentary...but the freeze dried Ham and Cheese are 50 bucks each. We take cash or charge.

/recently traveled on AA
//$5 for an f-ing sandwich
///realizes he actually misses the crappy packet of peanuts

Whatever It Takes (4, Funny)

tcolberg (998885) | more than 6 years ago | (#22298276)

If it nets me a trip to space, I'll be whatever personality they want me to be!

Re:Whatever It Takes (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22298436)

It's not going to space that would make be be whatever personality they want. It would have to be staying in space (orbiting habitat, lunar/martian colony, etc.).

Stop trying to humanize NASA. (2, Interesting)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22298374)

Give me a military-style space program filled with men and women from the military, thankyouverymuch. (It'd be an added bonus if they can keep their dicks in their pants and their legs closed.) We can leave the soft shit to the commercial (including the travel industry) sector.

Remember the space slut incident [wikipedia.org] ? I rest my case. (Yeah, I know, she was military - but she was "people person", so my point stands. :P)

Re:Stop trying to humanize NASA. (4, Insightful)

Macgruder (127971) | more than 6 years ago | (#22298780)

Better yet, skip the jet jockeys and flyboys. Recruit from the submarine service. Steely-eyed, and they have the proven skills to work in inhospitable environments for months on end without cracking up or going psycho.

Re:Stop trying to humanize NASA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22299374)

Better yet, skip the jet jockeys and flyboys. Recruit from the submarine service. Steely-eyed, and they have the proven skills to work in inhospitable environments for months on end without cracking up or going psycho.
That's because you have to be whacko to be a sewer-pipe sailor/tuber/sub-mariner in the first place.

Re:Stop trying to humanize NASA. (1)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22299700)

Recruit from the submarine service.
I wish I had modpoints right now, because that's a damn good point.

Re:Stop trying to humanize NASA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22301346)

good call..but it will never happen. thats too easy of an answer for nasa....

Re:Stop trying to humanize NASA. (1)

lessthan (977374) | more than 6 years ago | (#22298980)

Aren't most astronauts from the military anyway? It doesn't seem to help. I don't get this article at all. I would think that you would want less socialization. That is where the problems come from, right? IMHO, people with personality disorders would be the obvious choice. Aren't there forms of high level autism that cause you to dislike social interaction? I think a person capable of existing alone for long periods of time would also be excellent at deep space missions, such as Mars.

Re:Stop trying to humanize NASA. (2, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 6 years ago | (#22299196)

Not necessarily. I don't like being around others much at all, either, except for my wife (and even there I need time alone of course). I'd be perfectly happy with a job working at home, though my current engineering job isn't too bad either since I don't have to talk to others much.

The problem with space travel is that you aren't sending individual astronauts out on missions by themselves; you're sending teams of astronauts. So while that Mars astronaut may be away from most friends and family for 1-2 years, he's going to be in the constant company of a small handful of fellow astronauts, in a tiny capsule of some kind. Personally, I think I'd lose it if I was forced to share cramped quarters with other people for that long. It might be doable if I had to be on the Discovery from 2001, which was a rather sizable ship, and had a nice shuttle bay I could hang out in to be alone, but any near-term mission to Mars is probably going to have a tiny ship for the crew.

I think it takes a special kind of person to be able to share cramped quarters with a handful of other people for months or years at a time; fighter pilots probably aren't it, and extreme introverts aren't it either. Experienced submariners are the only group of people that seem like they'd be a good fit, though I'm not sure how you find and recruit people like that who don't already have a career in the Navy. Besides, it's likely they'd want a mixed-gender crew, and submariners are all male.

Re:Stop trying to humanize NASA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22302534)

he's going to be in the constant company of a small handful of fellow astronauts, in a tiny capsule of some kind.

That's it!! We should recruit Japanese people for our astronaut corps!

Re:Stop trying to humanize NASA. (1)

lessthan (977374) | more than 6 years ago | (#22302870)

Actual, why not send just one? It would cut down on life support needs. The only thing I see a manned mission really needing is someone to troubleshoot the computers when the on-Earth controllers can't fix it and maybe also doing the actual flying. It would be like sending a robot that doesn't need a remote.


If there are good reasons to send more than one person, there is no law that says they have to share a pod. Two lifesupport pods would have a nice redundancy too. (I just saw the movie "Sunshine." Horrible, horrible sci-fi movie. All their problems would have been solved it someone had thought to pack a spare... well, anything. No nerd in any discpline would have allowed them to leave the planet like that.)

Re:Stop trying to humanize NASA. (2, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22299904)

I think you have a misunderstanding of military people, in many ways they seem to be the last people you can expect to "keep their pants on", as it were.

That, and Lisa Nowak was not a "people person" based on statements by her coworkers.

Re:Stop trying to humanize NASA. (1)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306996)

I think you have a misunderstanding of military people, in many ways they seem to be the last people you can expect to "keep their pants on", as it were.
Eh? I'm not talking about a horny, pimply-faced 11B. I'm talking about career military.

Got a little gray hair, a wo/man at home, and kids? You're a go! ;)

Re:Stop trying to humanize NASA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22306360)

Apparently you've never been to Iraq. I can tell you that the soldiers are like rabbits over there. Soldiers are people too and if you put males and females together in relatively close proximity for long periods of time then there is going to be sexual stuff going on.

People are people (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22298678)

.
          Depeche Mode
          People Are People
          Some Great Reward

      People are people so why should it be
      You and I should get along so awfully
      People are people so why should it be
      You and I should get along so awfully

  So we're different colours and we're different creeds
  And different people have different needs
  It's obvious you hate me though I've done nothing wrong
  I've never even met you so what could I have done

    I can't understand what makes a man
    Hate another man help me understand

      People are people so why should it be
      You and I should get along so awfully
      People are people so why should it be
      You and I should get along so awfully

    Help me understand
    Help me understand

  Now you're punching and you're kicking and you're shouting at me
  And I'm relying on your common decency
  So far it hasn't surfaced but I'm sure it exists
  It just takes a while to travel from your head to your fist (head to your fists)

    I can't understand what makes a man
    Hate another man, help me understand

      People are people so why should it be
      You and I should get along so awfully
      People are people so why should it be
      You and I should get along so awfully

    I can't understand what makes a man
    Hate another man, help me understand
    I can't understand what makes a man
    Hate another man, help me understand
    I can't understand what makes a man
    Hate another man, help me understand
      (People are people)
    I can't understand what makes a man
      (Why should it be?)
    Hate another man, help me understand

Oh, wonderful, NASA joins the anti-autism crusade (2, Interesting)

damburger (981828) | more than 6 years ago | (#22299086)

From what I read of the article, this is about enforcing societal norms on employees. And that usually entails firing a lot of autistic people.

First it was the IT industry, and now apparently the space industry is getting in on the act. Tired of watching otherwise competent and productive employees fail to give out and respond to conforming body language, managers decide that we need to bring in some people who make eye contact when they speak and understand the latest fashions. That is far more important than technical expertise, after all.

Most of you probably think its fine, but a societies treatment of 'freaks' and 'wierdos' is a good indication of how it will be treating 'normal' people further down the line.

Re:Oh, wonderful, NASA joins the anti-autism crusa (2)

Jeng (926980) | more than 6 years ago | (#22299252)

Normal is relative.

I think those who make eye contact when they speak, have conforming body language, and understand the latest fashions are freaks.

Problem with what you said though is (afaik) that autistic people have just as much problem dealing with other autistic people as they would with normal people, if not more.

I don't think either straw man would be appropriate for a long term space stay though.

Re:Oh, wonderful, NASA joins the anti-autism crusa (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 6 years ago | (#22299434)

Problem with what you said though is (afaik) that autistic people have just as much problem dealing with other autistic people as they would with normal people, if not more.
You can't generalise about such things; how two people relate is entirely down to those particular two people. Hence crews train together. Trying to turn it into the fucking waltons in space is just petty and reactionary.

Re:Oh, wonderful, NASA joins the anti-autism crusa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22299870)

I think I can see why this has upset you so much:

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=415652&cid=22012604 [slashdot.org]

Don't worry - I think the space industry will still have room for people whose main skill isn't other people.

Re:Oh, wonderful, NASA joins the anti-autism crusa (1)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 6 years ago | (#22301800)

I'm not autistic (more of a frustrated intellectual), but I don't make eye contact, couldn't care less about clothes (they serve a function, nothing more), and I'm not much of a conversationist when I'm around the so called "normal" people. If someone wants to contribute to a conversation in a meaningful, intellectual manner, even if I disagree with them, I'm far less likely to want to strangle them (though I still might :P). I think picking crews of compatible people is far more important than picking crews of "people people". On another note, wasn't there a Simpson's episode about sending the everyman into space? How much of a people person was the inanimate carbon rod?

Re:Oh, wonderful, NASA joins the anti-autism crusa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22299368)

where there heck did this come from?

Re:Oh, wonderful, NASA joins the anti-autism crusa (0, Flamebait)

matt4077 (581118) | more than 6 years ago | (#22299548)

You must be fun at parties!

Re:Oh, wonderful, NASA joins the anti-autism crusa (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#22299614)

Being able to coexist peacefully without irritating your coworkers is important in an environment that locks a few people up together for months at a time. It's unfortunate that many autistics cannot do that well, but it's a fact.

Re:Oh, wonderful, NASA joins the anti-autism crusa (2, Funny)

damburger (981828) | more than 6 years ago | (#22299688)

If an autistic person cannot get on with a non-autistic person, why do you assume it is the fault of the autistic person? Perhaps the normal person is just too damn intolerant.

Re:Oh, wonderful, NASA joins the anti-autism crusa (3, Insightful)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 6 years ago | (#22300206)

Humans evolved society and social behavior for a reason and most can deal with it (to various degrees). If someone is blind you don't make them a sniper, you don't create a touch based vision (that's inferior) just for him.

It's sher arrogance to assume the rest of society needs to bend backwards for you at their detriment simply because you can't do it for them.

Re:Oh, wonderful, NASA joins the anti-autism crusa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22302198)

"Humans evolved society and social behavior for a reason and most can deal with it (to various degrees). If someone is blind you don't make them a sniper, you don't create a touch based vision (that's inferior) just for him."

The big difference though is the Asperger/HFA (High functioning autistic) is not blind and is perfectly capable, it's the ancient barbaric social status prejudice that gets in the way. The autist is not at fault for the the 'normal' (read: barbaric) ease at which one likes or dislikes another.

This is not to say they should make no effort to learn and socialize but many autistic types have been thoroughly abused. Society is abusive and primitive, we would see thing's liek Virginia tech if people were really nice, the truth is they aren't.

People are in control, their's no excuse for prejudice.

"It's sher arrogance to assume the rest of society needs to bend backwards for you at their detriment simply because you can't do it for them."

This is nonsense, "society bending backward", all one is asking is to lay off the prejudice and petty tribalistic social status games. It seems that's too hard for a knuck dragging normie.

Re:Oh, wonderful, NASA joins the anti-autism crusa (1)

AngelofDeath-02 (550129) | more than 6 years ago | (#22302918)

Isn't that a perfect example of reverse prejudice?
"This is nonsense, "society bending backward", all one is asking is to lay off the prejudice and petty tribalistic social status games. It seems that's too hard for a knuck dragging normie."

Re:Oh, wonderful, NASA joins the anti-autism crusa (2, Insightful)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 6 years ago | (#22303464)

So everyone except you and your group is wrong and inferior? And you call them prejudiced, short sighted and unwilling to accept those who are different...

People are in control, their's no excuse for prejudice.
So then autistic people should have no trouble acting so that others don't have problems with them. Oh wait, everyone is perfect and capable of altering the way their mind works in utter detail except autistic people...

Re:Oh, wonderful, NASA joins the anti-autism crusa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22300228)

SOMEONE's not a people person... Seriously. Stop being so pessimistic. Have you considered that NASA is planning multi-year trips to the moon, mars, and/or asteroids? And that... (gasp) they might actually need people to get along for years on end. Which, yes, might mean no autistic astronauts. Also no astronauts who are genetically obese or even disabled - the moon buggy isn't handicap accessible.

Now, if they try to say "only people people on the ground too" then you can whine. But there are some people you just can't lock up together in tiny tin room and send to mars.

nah, just suggests they've jumped the shark (1)

Quadraginta (902985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22300482)

If NASA is looking for "people" people to be astronauts, it's probably more just a sign that the real cutting-edge stuff, for which you do need wildly talented and somewhat abnormal folks, is about over. If machines and the ground crew are now doing all the real hairy work, and the important thing about the people on orbit is just that they don't embarass the agency in front of the TV cameras, well then, sure, being a well-adjusted normform is clearly the way to go.

There's a somewhat apt quote from Fleet Admiral Ernest King, who was Chief of Naval Operations during the Second World War, a famously crabby non "people" person (described by FDR as "a man who shaves with a blowtorch"), to the effect that in wartime they send for the sons of bitches, because only they can get the job done. Point being, if NASA is looking for more "people" skills over aerospatial genius or nerves of brass, then they're probably no longer working on the true frontier.

Yes, I know you don't want a crew that will kill each other because they've the social skills of retarded bonobos. But if you have a crew that has time and energy to spare for social interactions beyond hand me that fucking wrench really quick and O2 is nominal again thank Christ then your missions aren't at the very leading edge.

Re:Oh, wonderful, NASA joins the anti-autism crusa (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#22304366)

From what I read of the article, this is about enforcing societal norms on employees.

Which says to me that you didn't read any of it. The incompatibility problems discussed in the article are well known (at least among people who follow the space program) - and have nothing to do with with 'conforming' or 'fashions' or 'societal norms'.

H2G2 (1)

zz9plural (203855) | more than 6 years ago | (#22299134)

They should look into Genuine People Personalitiies.

Search for the perfect astronaut (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22299412)

After a thorough study, NASA has concluded that the subterranean hominid species called the 'Hardcore Gamer' is the ideally suited for deployment in space for elongated periods of time.
This species has proven to subsist on ridiculously low amounts of food, water, social interaction, exercise and sexual intercourse, while maintaining excellent screen monitoring reflexes and quick reaction/adaptability to changes on screen. The species is known to inhabit basements and hence it is very accustomed to dark and cramped places, they also have the amazing ability to stay in one place for days without getting restless. After a few tests we have concluded that the 'Hardcore Gamer' is averse to sunlight, complex social situations (especially those that involve the female species) and physical exercise.
All conditions favorable to this species is present on our spaceships with none of the negatives.

(p.s. We think the best way to recruit them would be to make some kind of a free massive online space simulation game).

Maybe they need me and my wife!!! (1)

eclectic_hermit (1232884) | more than 6 years ago | (#22299524)

Please remember, I am only joking....

.

1. We are pretty tolorating people.

2. We live WAY out in the country, with as little human interaction (other than each other) as we can get away with.

3. We have more than 2 months worth of jokes....

4. They would get free "pron"...

I've said it before. (3, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#22299578)

The US already has a largish pool of individuals already self selected, tested, screened, and proven for many of the traits that NASA seem to want here. A large number of them even have college degrees. (The only drawback being - the pool 100% male.)
 
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Yeah, you need fighter pilots to do the piloting part on the Shuttle and Orion and any future landing, but to actually operate the gear and the experiments on the Station, on a Moon or Mars base, or cruising to and from Mars: Your best bet is to recruit from the US Submarine Service.

Re:I've said it before. (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307780)

Except spaceships are far more cramped and inhospitable than submarines. They also need people with far more skills and expertise than a navy meathead.

Re:I've said it before. (1)

Macgruder (127971) | more than 6 years ago | (#22315332)

Meathead?

Today's (enlisted) US Navy Submariner is a trained, technical specialist in at least 2 fields, possibly 1 or 2 more (depending on at which point in his career he made the transition to submarine service) and has spent a minimum of 15 months, as much as two years in highly stressful, intensive and submarine specific training before even stepping on-board. Then comes the year-long OJT submarine qualification program in addition to his normal technical specialty.

Any 'meatheads' were washed-out long before this point.

New ways of interacting in space (2, Funny)

kcbanner (929309) | more than 6 years ago | (#22299910)

Bow chica chica bow bow chica. I know you were thinking it.

Nominees (1)

Colourspace (563895) | more than 6 years ago | (#22300246)

I can't believe no one has yet nominated Homer Jay Simpson and/or Barney Gumball yet... That episode was the birthplace of 'I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords' (OK that might not have been the exact original phrase, but I'm memed out here...)

Krishna Krishna Rama Rama (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22301042)

WIll they serve Pizza Pizza or Panda Panda on the ISS? They can play Puyo Puyo in their off hours. They can train the people people at the new training center in Walla Walla. Maybe they'll see Jar Jar. OK, I'll stop.

Astrogeologists (1)

simonbp (412489) | more than 6 years ago | (#22301690)

Well, submariners may be good for transit, and fighter jocks for landing, but once you actually get on the surface of the Moon or Mars, it's the astrogeologists' turn. A few good field geologists could turn any landing site into a scientific bonanza...

Re:Astrogeologists (1)

Iloinen Lohikrme (880747) | more than 6 years ago | (#22303888)

I first red archaeologist, and wondered why would you need archaeologist in moon or mars? Then it came...

"Dr. Jones, we meet again." ..a hidden Nazi base in the dark side of moon, inside an ancient Atlantis outpost?

I for one propose that all future space missions will include an archaeologist with a passion to fight Nazis. You just can't be never too sure.

I would like to suggest (1)

Hansu (234247) | more than 6 years ago | (#22303940)

Long and inefficient search.
At the taxpayers expense, of course.

What does "People Person" mean? (1)

boristdog (133725) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306168)

Because when I hear someone say they are a "People Person" I immediately think "Donner Party".
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