“I’m coming back in… and it’s the saddest moment of my life.” -Ed White, at the end of his first spacewalk
A great many of us had dreams of becoming an astronaut when we were younger, and many of us still have that dream today. But turning that dream into reality involves a lot of choices, a lot of hard work, a lot of trade-offs and a lot of luck. Having “the right stuff” is no guarantee that you’ll get there, but if you’re willing to put in the work, there’s plenty you can do to maximize your chances.
Becoming an astrophysicist — or a scientist of any type — is actually a lot easier, but involves many of the same skills. But with both choices, you absolutely have to love it. That fire has to be alive inside of you with each and every day that passes. Because if it goes out, you’re on the wrong path, and no reward at the end of the race is going to be worth the slog of a journey if you don’t enjoy it.