Astronauts or AstroNots

Posted on November 17, 2011


Dear NASA,

I saw your job posting on USAJOBS seeking astronauts.  Apparently many veteran astronauts are leaving and NASA will need upwards of fifty-five new astronauts in the next few years.

Here’s my favorite part of the job description: “Frequent travel may be required.”  I’m glad this detail was included before I applied because I had no idea a job traveling to space might require traveling.

NASA–may I call you NASA?  NASA, I wasn’t one of those kids who dreamed of becoming an astronaut, but I did dream about telling people I was an astronaut.

And not just any people, but specifically the female half of people.

But times have changed since astronauts were all the rage in the sixties.  The only boys today who dream about impressing girls by becoming astronauts are the boys who haven’t yet been told that becoming an astronaut requires years and years of really hard work.  Haven’t you heard that boys today aren’t interested in math and science anymore?  It doesn’t take boys long to realize there are far easier ways to impress girls:

Not only is “Reality TV Star” more impressive than “Astronaut,” but also consider all the work required in boring subjects like math and science–just to be less impressive:

NASA, the work/reward ratio is too heavily skewed in Reality TV Star’s favor as a profession.  And if a boy is absolutely intent on fulfilling his dream of telling girls he’s an astronaut, and he’s smart enough to qualify for a PhD in Physics, he’s probably smart enough to understand the following:

Female astronauts are very impressive to men but also very intimidating, and being an astronaut may not translate into as many dates as their high school career counselors promised:

Here’s my suggestion: If you want to get young people excited about the space program again, why not develop a reality TV show based on selecting an astronaut to go up in space?  Also, cut the math and science.

The Good Greatsby