How Astronauts Are Chosen

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How do you chose people to go to the moon? That’s what NASA had to figure out as they began selecting astronauts for the Gemini and Apollo projects.


Above: Apollo 11’s crew. From left to right, Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin.

They’d have to be comfortable with danger. They’d need quick reactions to handle emergencies, and high intelligence, to learn the complex systems and techniques of space flight. They would also have to be in superb physical condition. NASA found these people within the ranks of military test pilots.

Test pilots are often the first to fly new types of planes. Their job requires them to handle, and even simulate, emergencies.


Above: a test pilot inside of a plane.

Starting in 1963, NASA started choosing scientists who had training in astronomy, physics, and even nuclear engineering. Buzz Aldrin had a doctorate from MIT where he did a thesis on space rendezvous.

Please comment below. Would you want to become an astronaut?

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