Thousands Apply to Join NASA’s Artemis Generation, NASA (2020-04-01)
The application for the newest class of astronauts opened March 2 and closed March 31. The number of people who applied to be an astronaut represents the second-highest number of applications NASA has ever received, surpassed only by the record of 18,300 set by the most recent class of astronauts who graduated in January.
[...] Since the 1960s, NASA has selected 350 people to train as astronaut candidates for its increasingly challenging missions to explore space. With 48 astronauts in the active astronaut corps, more will be needed to serve as crew aboard spacecraft bound for multiple destinations and propel exploration forward as part of Artemis missions and beyond.
Look at that number. 350. Total. Ever. I've had plenty of days when I've felt good about my capabilities and accomplishments, but never that great. 350 is a rare number.
I threw my name in the hat.
There isn't a snowball's chance in Houston of getting into that club. But what the hell?
Could I do that job? Without a doubt. Am I worthy of that job? Not even remotely.
Applying was a nod to my past selves as I'm closing in on age 40. Maybe if you took note of all the events and decisions and possibilities and opportunities in a life, and played the simulation forwards from each of them so that you could see the results of every fractal possibility, maybe one of them includes an episode where you get to see the Earth in its entirety every 92-and-a-half minutes. If you latch onto a wild dream when young, and push and get pushed even in that direction, you still have the opportunity of going farther than you would have with your own dreams alone, you still get to enjoy the ride in a system versus goal or journey versus destination kind of way. Thanks for getting me this far, guys.
Send us off, Frank Turner:
Not everyone grows up to be an astronaut,
Not everyone was born to be a king,
Not everyone can be Freddie Mercury,
But everyone can raise their glass and sing.
Well I haven't always been a perfect person,
Well I haven't done what mum and dad had dreamed,
But on the day I die, I'll say at least I fucking tried.
That's the only eulogy I need,
That's the only eulogy I need.