The question about “Space Surgeon at NASA” that I replied to in a go-live on my facebook public page http://www.facebook.com/animpatilsabale on Thursday, continuing on that topic. In this link below is an example of a physician in emergency medicine. If you look at his background its unique, bachelors in Math and Doctor of Medicine. Look him up on wiki. Take guidance from his path and paths of astronauts with similar background.
But remember one important thing, like I say when I am asked “what did you do to be where you are?”, every individuals path is going to be different. Refer to the paths of people you look up to or take inspiration from and plan and chart your own path. You might be able to chart out an even better path for yourself towards your astronautics or space exploration research goals. And remember, have a backup plan because you might do everything you can do and still not make it – it’s a fact I remind myself of all the time. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. The probability of making it into NASA’s Astronaut program is very low, has always been lower than 0.1%, if you look at the history of the program. There might be hundreds of engineers, hundreds of doctors, hundreds of geologists, scientists who apply, all extremely highly qualified, but like several NASA astronauts say, luck in an important factor that has to be on your side as well. Remember many astronauts have applied several times, some even 10 and 13 times before they got selected. So while you apply, keep building skills and have a career that you will be happy with all your life while you continue to apply to NASA’s Astronaut program.
I am doing the same and trust me there have been times when I have felt “what if I never make it, what if all my life I am chasing a goal, a dream that will never come true”, and when I feel that I ask myself, “so, do you want to give up then?” and I realize no, I can never give up. It is just not in my nature to. And so I have charted out a career path that has brought me where I am today, and no matter what the outcome is of my NASA astronaut application every time I apply, I am enjoying my daily job, I am excited to come to work everyday and I feel charged to do more every day. I am finishing up a third Masters in Space Studies Human Factors this summer, and I have a few goals planned for myself that I want to complete during the rest of this year. The third masters gives me a completely different “human factors in space” perspective and background after my MS in Computer Applications and MS in Aerospace Engineering. NASA Astronaut Program likes it if you have a diverse educational background as well, and apart from that, I believe any knowledge and education you get helps you grow in your career. So, although it was a lot of work, I enjoyed it and I hope to put what I learned in application to my work.
Just preparing to apply for NASA’s Astronaut program has taught me to be patient, work harder and always push myself to do more, even more than I have always done which, was always more than normal! 🙂 And that too in the face of several odds and hurdles in my path till date! Laziness, slacking off, impatience, if you can’t get rid of these, then this is not the goal for you. A crazy drive to keep working constantly, to keep pushing yourself, doing more that what you think you can, never limiting yourself, unwavering persistence, staying focused and positive – can you do this every single day of all your life??? Then this is the path for you. If you have the slightest doubt you cannot do this, then this is not the right path for you and you will dissappointed somewhere down the line. So talk to yourself and once you decide, tell yourself there is no looking back ever to question your decisions and only then, set out towards your goals and your beautiful journey with passion and dedication!
For those of you who understand Hindi, someone mentioned this to me yesterday when they read about my journey, and this has been mentioned to me in the past as well, “Anima your journey reminds me of SRK’s dialog – Itni Shiddat Se Maine Tumhe Paane Ki Koshish Ki Hai Ke Har Zarre Ne Mujhe Tumse Milane Ki Saajish Ki Hai” , and yes, I agree, these are apt lines for my drive and my passion for my dreams my goals. Let them be for yours too!
Wishing you all, all the best for a bright and beautiful future !
Also refer to the “Answering your Questions” page on this website for education,experience and such specifics on “How Do I Become An Astronaut”. Link : https://animapatilsabale.com/how-do-i-become-an-astronaut/
NASA’s Astronaut Program: https://astronauts.nasa.gov/
NASA Astronaut Bios: http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/
FAQ’s about NASA’s Astronaut Selection process, age, qualifications etc. : https://astronauts.nasa.gov/content/faq.htm