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What You Need To Be An Astronaut.

Last weekend’s space school featured a talk from a very nice Ph.D contemporary of mine about what goes into astronaut training and the qualities needed to become an astronaut. This talk did exactly what it was supposed to — got the kids in attendance fired up the prospect of becoming involved with the space program – and was far more interactive than my talk, which was basically a dreary narrative on where in the solar system we might end up colonising if we could ever be bothered1. However, there were a couple of points where I had to physically restrain myself from heckling her since it was a rather saccharine view of astronaut training and you’re basically not allowed to be cynical when your job is to inspire kids to do science. So I’ll just talk about it here instead: these are some of the other things you need to be an astronaut, but which they don’t usually publicise because they have an image to maintain, dammit.

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