STAY FIT if you want to become an astronaut!
After my post about my scuba certification, I got several questions about what other requirements and skills(in addition to education and work exp) can be acquired to become an astronaut. Compiling here what I know and have been doing myself
* Staying fit is the biggest requirement for becoming an astronaut. So exercise, build your stamina, stay strong and healthy, including maintaining good oral health. Applicants who are selected for interviews have to clear a tough Physical Exam before they can interview. So being fit definitely helps! I do a combination of running, biking, swimming and yoga to get a variety in my exercise; even choreographing and performing Bollywood dances occasionally! 🙂 Whatever your goals in life, staying fit is a good life choice in any case! 🙂
* Stay away from alcohol, drugs, smoking, drinking. Applicants are tested for these, if they make it to the next step. I do not know the details of how the results affect your selection process, but why jeopardize your chances by making unhealthy choices? I do not go for even soft drinks or juices! (Not saying they are forbidden but just sharing my choices, I personally do not like them) Stick to healthy drinks, my favorite is water! 😉
* Be adventurous, be an explorer, overcome your fears! This shows the selection committee you are fearless and have been in stressful situations and can handle them well. Scuba diving is the toughest thing I have done until now. I learned swimming after coming to the US, when I was an adult! I have been a basic swimmer, never ventured beyond 5 ft. So getting into deeper waters, 12ft, 20 ft, 30 ft was itself a scare let alone breathing underwater. But I put myself to test and I worked on overcoming my fears. It has been the best feeling ever! These experiences teach a lot and if you can do these things then rest assured, you can do anything you set your mind to! 🙂
* Get a pilots license, Private Pilots minimum! You will build up basic flying skills and those will always help! Plus its such a great adventure!! 🙂
For now these are all I can think of. Will keep contributing to this post as I recall something. Reach for the STARS! 🙂