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Sub officer to Astronaut

Brett327

Well-Known Member
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
Why not? Even enlisted want to do their part.
Kind of a silly idea at this point. Given the highly specialized STEM and other advanced degrees or flight test experience required, there probably aren't many enlisted folks who are going to qualify. Second, what capabilities or specialized knowledge would an enlisted member bring to that environment that a more senior officer not provide? Said another way, what problem are you trying to solve by putting a mere technician-level set of skills in orbit.
 

Griz882

Livin' On the Right Side of the River From Pags!
pilot
Contributor
I'll answer with a question. Why isn't everyone on a submarine an officer?
Racism? Sorry, being (poorly) sarcastic. When I read your post all I could think of is red shirts on Star Trek...it never turns out well for them.
 

taxi1

Well-Known Member
pilot
I'll answer with a question. Why isn't everyone on a submarine an officer?
Kind of a silly idea at this point. Given the highly specialized STEM and other advanced degrees or flight test experience required...
I’d consider a BS in engineering with 20 years experience operating and maintaining the most complex hardware on the planet as a suitable qualification. ISS folks don’t operate things so much as maintain them. An MS in aerospace engineering to swap out a space toilet?

Spacewalking = deep sea diving more than plane flying.
 

Brett327

Well-Known Member
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
I’d consider a BS in engineering with 20 years experience operating and maintaining the most complex hardware on the planet as a suitable qualification.
I don't think NASA's selection board would agree with you. At any rate, anyone with the right qualifications can apply, so it's not as though there is a prohibition against an enlisted Astronaut.
 

Hair Warrior

Well-Known Member
Contributor
When manned space crews become a lot larger like a P-8 or RC-135 crew they will definitely have enlisted crew members who don’t necessarily have the PhD/MD/MS degrees that the active astronaut corps all has. Right now though, manned space crews are more in the F/A-18 to EA-6 crew size. We don’t have enlisted aircrew in Hornets or Prowlers. On smaller crew space missions, crew members need to have more skills and be adaptable to various known or unforeseen problem sets, which tend to lend themselves to PhD and MS level educational background. Apollo 13 comes to mind of a scenario where quick astrophysics math was needed to get them home while they still had oxygen, and there was no book or reg to follow.

That said, there are some enlisted personnel who do have a bachelors and masters degree. Are we sure that they are currently ineligible for applying for NASA? They could always apply as a civilian after separation, of course.

Edit: NASA requires a master's degree or test pilot school, among other criteria. The criteria does not mention officer vs. enlisted as a criteria.
 
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jmcquate

Well-Known Member
Contributor
The one I knew went through the training and got his wings and continued working at NASA after those missions had ended.
 
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