A few weeks ago, a FB friend posted a link to the Canadian Space Agency. For the first time since 2009, applications are being accepted over the next two months to pick the next 2 Canadian Astronauts.
Instantly, my interest was piqued.
Who hasn’t dreamed of being an Astronaut?
The first time I learned about space travel was probably right after the Challenger disaster in 1986. I was 11 years old. I can kind of remember the chatter in my grade 6 class at recess about the space shuttle blowing up. We watched the news about it as a family later that evening. When the Time Magazine issue was released (my parents were subscribers back then), I read over every inch of the article. I was obsessed. I would ask my parents to take me to the local library so I could read more about the shuttle missions. I was obsessed for months about the tragedy.
A few years later, my father introduced me to Carl Sagan. He knew I was interested in space exploration and the Universe in general and he brought me a book he’d had on his bookshelf called “Contact“.
After reading the novel, I started to think about life in the universe and truly wondered if we were alone. I would look up at the stars at night and wonder what it would be like to meet an alien, or travel through space. It would be years later that I would start watching science fiction television shows. My brother and father were big Star Trek fans for years. I never liked watching those shows when I was a teenager, I was far more interested in Soap Operas thanks to my mom. Nevertheless, science fiction was all around me growing up, mostly on the book shelves in my dad’s office.
I became a sci-fi “geek” in University. I started watching Star Trek: The Next Generation after seeing an episode in my first year philosophy course. That episode was “The Measure of a Man“. The episode discussed the idea of whether Data was indeed a sentient being with a conscience. It was fascinating, and I was hooked.
Fast forward 20 years and I’m now sitting at my computer looking at the eligibility requirements to apply to the Canadian Space Agency. I meet the height and weight requirements; I am a Canadian citizen; I am female; I have several university degrees; I am licensed to practice medicine in Canada.
Holy crap. I qualify to apply!!!!!
And then I started answering some questions on the official application.
“Do you have expertise in Materials Science?”
“Do you have expertise in Orbital Science?”
“Do you have expertise in Spacecraft Design?”
“Do you have expertise in Thermodynamics?”
“Do you have expertise in Space Physics?”
“Do you have expertise in Microgravity?”
“Do you have expertise in Rocket Science?”
“Do you have expertise in Geodesy?”
What the hell is Geodesy?
Hmmm … guess I’m not as qualified as I had originally thought. Still, I’m going to apply anyway, why the hell not?
Maybe I’ll use this post as my cover letter.