Sounds childish but...

Discussion in 'Zealot Archives' started by Hans Christian, Feb 2, 2007.

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  1. Hans Christian

    Hans Christian Active Member

    Guys, I'll bet there's somebody here, or there that dreams of becoming an astronaut... Mine including...

    But... now, it seems that I don't want this to become just a dream anymore...

    Well, I'm in college, and there's no way a student will be picked... but still, right now, my family members are now offering me options to get the credentials needed that I can pursue after graduation...

    My undergrad degree is a preparatory course in medicine... BTW

    My dad's first suggestion is to pursue my first dream, which is to become a pilot. he's a pilot too, and right now, he recommends me to take commercial aviation, or if by some chance I didn't become an airline pilot, he'll take me as his co-pilot in a company owned aircraft he's flying today... Then pursue medicine

    His second suggestion, is to pursue medicine after graduation. My uncle is in Adelaide University right now (where astronaut Dr. Andrew Thomas graduated), pursuing his PhD in Physics (after his Masters degree of the same subject in the same school). My uncle is also supprotive of the idea, and he offers to handle legal documents and scholarships that I can avail. And like flying, medicine is also in my field of interests since childhood...

    either way, both are within basic requirements for astronaut candidacy...

    Pretty ambitious for a guy like me... Living in a country where people think that a Filipino Astronaut is next to impossible... even deemed as ridiculous...

    I know that for now, I don't have to worry about these choices. But right now, I'm now wondering which of the two will offer the best chance...

    What started as a simple watching of a movie (its the film adaptation of Apollo 13 BTW :-D)now became what could be my life's goal...

    Both are tempting, both are challenging, but I have to choose...

    So guys, any advices? Especially to the NASA folks out there?
  2. Sticks-N-Stones

    Sticks-N-Stones New Member

    Hans, there are many ways to reach a goal. Plan your career for a lifetime of gratifying work, not two weeks of glory. I grew up 3 miles from Johnson Space Center in Houston and had astronauts for neighbors! I went to high school with Robert Crippen's daughter in 1980. Between 1965 and 1982 nearly everyones parents were somehow associated with one of the manned space programs. It was sooo glamorous. The "astronauts" were ALL ex-military test pilots with multiple engineering degrees, absolutely perfect physical genetics, IQ's in the 160+ range, and 28 to 32 years old. They didn't plan to become astronauts, they were in the right place at the right time! Most astronauts NEVER got a ride, a handful got one ride and even fewer got two. I once spoke to a man who lost his ride of a lifetime because he woke up with a headcold 3 days before launch! The days of the pioneer astronaut are over. If you want a ride in space, make 20 or 30 million in some form of business before your 35 years old and BUY a ride into space. It sounds flippant but its much easier to become a multimillionaire than to become an astronaut and commercial aviation is already developing the space "tourism" market.
  3. hpept

    hpept Member

    Having worked for some years in the aerospace world, I warmly encourage you to become a doctor, at least you'll never go short with work...
    Too many variables (99,9% not depending on you) can go wrong and compromise your astronaut career.
  4. 46rob

    46rob Member

    Medicine--especially Aerospace medicine will more likely get you where you want to go than becoming a pilot. Pilots ar a dime a dozen: even those who are test pilots, fly high perrformance aircraft, etc aare in plentiful supply. There are ten times more mission specialists than drivers....pilots. Write NASA--ask them the best route to take. Can't hurt...can only help. The worst case scenario is no reply at all. In the hard, especially in the realm of physics, biology and chemistry. Work out. Get into the best possible physical condition--both strength and endurance. And--most important, never give up your dream. Even if you never end up in space, there's always the chance that you'll become an important member of the program in other facets.
  5. blueeyedbear

    blueeyedbear Member

    This has nothing to do with how to become an astronaut, but may give you an idea of what you face.

    Back in the 60's there was a program for "Scientist Astronauts". I really wanted the oportunity to become an astronaut, and since I have a PhD in Microbiology, I looked into applying. Low and behold, I had one too few teeth to pass the Naval Aviator Flight Physical :)cry: ), which was required of every applicant!

    Turned out that after a few years, all the Scientist Astronauts were sent packing. None of them ever got into a space craft, much less into space!:confused:


    (Dr. Robert, if you prefer, but I tell everyone who knows that, that I'm just plain ole Bob since I retired!!!)
  6. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

    I'd go for the medical degree. You will be able to work anywhere in the world. And you can later get your pilots liscence. You could have your own airplane. You could also with your medical degree do other things similar to being an astronaut. Maybe work in Antarctica. You could be a doctor in remote areas that require fly to get to your patients.

    The nurse at my husband's neurologist's office loves flying. She works at Alaska Regional Hospital which is right next to Merrill Field, the airfield for small airplanes. She keeps her airplane there. As soon as she gets off work, you can guess where she goes.
    Alaska Regional handles much of the remote medicine in Alaska. Patients get flown in to Merrill field instead of being taken in an ambulance as urban patients are.

    I would think that if you want to combine being a pilot and being a doctor then the medical degree is the more important thing to go for.

    I just noticed that this year there will be an international conference on arctic and antarctic research. My feeling is the oceanography and climate change is more cutting edge right now than space exploration. Expeditons to study oceanography and climate might have opportunities for a doctor interested in remote medicine.

  7. ninja_doc

    ninja_doc Member

    The only advice that I would have is to try to live without regrets. Forget the notion that medicine will bring you may, but most likely it will bring you years of responsibilities to shoulder and many lost nights. Pursue it for its own sake and not the financial gains and you will find it much more rewarding.

    At the end of the day we live by the decisions we make and we carry with us all of the "could have beens" I know many a physician who pursued other careers before medicine and some who have pursued other careers after medicine. You always have time to go back and study a new career but you may not have your youth!

    I find myself working 80+ hour weeks juggling home, patients, surgery schedules, teaching responsibilities and a brand new daughter. Regrets? No way! Backup plan for my retirement? You bet. Course I never dreamed of being an astronaut...


    PS. Depending on where you train your medical degree may not carry you everywhere the wind blows. Even an MD from an American medical school won't get you into nearly as many countries as a Canadian one will.
  8. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member


    Who knows what the future will hold.............. heck when I graduated High School in 1975.......... we all figured that by the year 2000(25 years away) that----- we would all be on the moon, mining asteroids, flying around in George Jetson cars........... no really we did.

    25 years from now who knows......... it could happen.................. but it's just as likely NOT!

    Humans in general are lazy and don't like long did it take for us to get away from using copper wires to communicate with other people.

    Rob has a point............. pick a field that NASA will find useful. Something that you will enjoy doing for 30 or 40 years........... YES it will be hard to find what it is, and it WILL require some out-of-the-box thinking and a whole bunch of guess work. AND like he said............. ASK NASA. What can they do............ shoot ya for asking, NO just not respond.

    NASA like any other entity must look toward the future and choose a path they think will work............ having people willing to help them toward that goal is something they know they will need.

    I bet they will contact you and give you some good ideas for careers they feel they will need to reach their future goals.............

    NEVER GIVE UP!................. NEVER SURRENDER! got that from a movie:grin:

    Good luck Hans.......... and remember there are alot of people pulling for you and we are very interested in the outcome...........let us know.........will ya?


    Oh....... in 1975 I asked the same question sorta......... My dad said "Look into these computer things.........." That's what I did............. 31 years later I'm the Computer Operations Manager for the Department of Employment Security for the State of Mississippi, never would have guessed that in 1975.
  9. Hans Christian

    Hans Christian Active Member

    wow!!! lotsa suggestions here!!! Thanks guys!!!

    For medicine, yup, I'd go for aerospace medicine, just like sir Rob said... My dad also suggested that if I'll take up medicine, go for aerospace medicine, since flying and medicine are very much related...

    and also dad metioned that flying is no permanent job, unless the pilot can maintain his health well, he'll lose his license...

    I don't really like the idea of being just a space tourist, not only that it costs gargantuous, but one can only do it once...

    of course, not everyone in the astronaut corps got picked their first try... the Late Rick Husband got picked after 5 failures (and he was ready to give up then...)

    also like sir Rob said, I'll try to contact NASA to ask for more options, and also, they tend to pick more frequently someone who has already worked for them.. I also considering that option, since many Filipinos are already working there... (BTW, it was a Filipino who discovered red spot jr. on Jupiter using the HST)...

    Good thing though I have special interest in physics, biology and chemistry... I guess tutoring classmates will be useful... hehe!

    having a fortune for becoming a doctor is out of the question for me... If I'll become one, I'd really like it if I can follow the example of Dr. Patch Adams... For me, he's an example of what a doctor should be like...

    yup, you guys are right, no use wondering what the future will be... there's no point in worrying...

    but if, by some chance I'd reach that, maybe bringing a card model along is a good idea... right? :-D

    Thanks guys, that was very helpful!

    till then, maybe I'll finish that Marscenter Shuttle in my table... :-D
  10. dwgannon

    dwgannon Member

    Don't feel bad. My dad was pushing me to go to DeVry for an electrical engineering degree in 1978, after I graduated from HS. I disappointed him and joined the Air Force. :-o God was he pissed. He did forgive me after some time. Now I am an Oracle Database Manager with 9 DBA's and it’s my second career. I look back now and realize 20 years ago I picked up a book and learned to write in IBM Basic. Plus I grew up in the 60’s wanting the same dream as Han’s. I too wanted to be an Astronaut. Han’s buddy you can be any thing you want to be. You just have to pick your dream and go for it. Life is a challenge, It’s all about the choices. :wink:
  11. Hans Christian

    Hans Christian Active Member

    P.S. NASA's new program after the shuttle is really tempting... returning to the moon, then possibly going to Mars... And for that, I've heard that they need more people for it...

    hmmm... :-D
  12. Hans Christian

    Hans Christian Active Member

    wow... what an achievement there sir Dave... :-D
  13. jparenti

    jparenti Member

    To be absolutely honest, I'm working toward a similar goal Hans. I'm a physics major currently, also looking toward some engineering as a minor. (Interestingly Joan Higgenbotham, of the most recent shuttle mission in December, graduated from my university with her bachelor's and went to NASA two weeks later).
    My only big worry is my vision. According to the NASA website, your vision has to be correctable to 20/20, which is no problem for me (my eyes aren't that bad). But it still worries me, just because it's a flaw.
    Does anyone know how physically perfect you have to be nowadays? In the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo days, you had to be an absolutely perfect physical specimin. I wonder if they've relaxed that a little.
    Don't give it up Hans. If it's a childish goal, call me a child. :grin:
  14. Hans Christian

    Hans Christian Active Member

    Hehe!!! Its very nice to see someone that has a similar plan :-D

    Yup, its also the same for pilots, that your eyes should be correctable to 20/20... We have seen astro/cosmonauts wearing glasses, even during launch and landing...

    I guess nobody could ever guess how physically-fit someone should be to be qualified... But one thing is certain, we have to work for it :-D

    Relaxation is also important in my opinion... :-D

    Well, its better to be a "child" and have a dream than to be a "grown-up" and be stuck on the ground... :-D
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