FYI – the deadline to apply for astronaut school is tomorrow, July 1:
NASA is now accepting applications for its 2009 astronaut class. The agency is looking for a few men and women who want to fulfill their dreams and be a part of the next generation of explorers.
To be considered, a bachelor’s degree in engineering, science or math and three years of relevant professional experience are required. Typically, successful applicants have significant qualifications in engineering or science, or extensive experience flying high-performance jet aircraft.
Teaching experience, including work at the kindergarten through 12th grade level, is considered qualifying. Educators with the appropriate educational background are encouraged to apply.
I’m not sure why K-12 teaching experience is considered a qualification for astronaut school, unless you’re someone like Mrs. Beggs of Illinois, who has been shepherding the next generation of astronauts:
Here is my class in their space outfits. We were pretending to go to the moon. Their spacesuits were made out of white trashbags. We made holes for the arms and necks. Our breathing apparatus’ were made out of cereal boxes covered with aluminum foil. We punched holes in them and put yarn through the holes. That is how they are able to stay on their backs. We taped four straws together and stuck them in the top of the cereal boxes. That is how they “breathed”.
Ah, these photos brought back fond memories of kindergarten! Surreal projects involving cereal boxes and trashbags are the best. Although the overall effect of a class of sack-headed, bag-draped mini-astronauts is maybe a little freaky.