We dream about it and look out into the deep wide open sky and see not just an adventure but maybe the possibility of a destiny worth pursuing. From soaring through space to a riveting launch of a rocket ship, we journey through the various options one can take into becoming an astronaut…
1. The traditional route- there is only three spaces agencies in the world that have the capabilities of man space flights. Firstly NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and possibly the most recognized earthly space brand! NASA’s space program is intensive but they are looking for the best of the best. So having 20/20 vision in each eye is just a small part of an overall selection process which includes requirements of academic as well as flight hours, depending on whether you are applying as a non piloting or piloting background candidate. Check out NASA’s website on Astronaut Selection for more details: http://www.nasajobs.nasa.gov/astronauts/content/broch00.htm
From North America to Europe as we check out the Russian Federal Space Agency! Yuri Gagarin was the first person in space so here’s the agency that set the benchmark. http://www.roscosmos.ru/ Finally we head down to Asia where China have the China National Space Administration…having just had their astronauts complete their first ever space walk their website is full of useful information on the countries space ambitions. http://www.cnsa.gov.cn/n615709/cindex.html
2. The self funded route, oh yes some really dudes out there have gone and tackled space on their own! One of them a South African called Mark Shuttleworth becoming the first African in Space! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Shuttleworth
3. Last but not least, we have the big wait of Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic! http://www.virgingalactic.com/
Its really all about doing your homework, saving your cash or making some insane money. But our dreams of intergalactic travel is now more of a reality than an actual George Lucas masterpiece!
The movies…and there are plenty!
1. The Right Stuff: funny, quirky yet seriously cool for a movie made in 1983! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086197/
2. Apollo 13: Realistic and maybe what you don’t want to happen to you whilst you in space. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112384/
3. Space Cowboys: It’s one last chance to go up into space and even if you retired and slightly fragile, its still worth a shot. Eastwood, Sunderland, Tommy Lee Jones and good old James Garner makes for an eventual take on going into space.
4. Armageddon: it could happen in reality but we pretty sure that oil drillers won’t be going up. It’s a typical Jerry Bruckheimer effort which means action pack drama thrown in with classic one liners…”So am I. And I'm not so optimistic. We spend 250 billion dollars a year on defense. And here we are. The fate of the planet is in the hands of a bunch of retards I wouldn't trust with a potato gun.”
Ultimate Rocket Kit by David Eckold
This kit should ignite the imaginations of would-be astronauts everywhere. The challenge is to complete four different missions, including landing a space capsule on a distant planet and launching a rocket that releases a parachute and lands on target. The kit provides a fun introduction to the science of rockets and pneumatics. Recommended Retail Price: R340
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