Monthly Archives: June 2009

Astronaut Class

During my site-hoping morning, I came across this quick brief on
2009 Astronaut Class

Now, why would I be excited about this? Well, judging based on previously-inducted astronaut classes, I can expect the recruitment to occur every three/four years, which is pretty nice. So, 2013, 2016, and 2020 will see a couple dozen new astronauts each, with 2020 being my first possible inclusion into the selection process. Each class usually accepts less than 1% of the thousands of applicants, and that won’t change any time soon.

Now, checking out some more stuff about this newest class, they will never fly on the Space Shuttle. The aging shuttle fleet will be retired before they complete their two-three year training, leaving them a three-year window before the Orion is ready for manned spaceflight (Source:

In other news, I found this nice timeline about the entirety of the selection process, based on NASA’s published one with some edits made. There are also a bunch of graphs helping to predict class compositions and other variables in the new astronaut classes. While slightly off, the timeline is still a nice resource for myself and anyone else looking to become an astronaut.
Astronaut for Hire

Summer Vacation

I feel that this weekend was my first of summer vacation. A weird feeling, especially as I’ve been out of school for almost two months (seven weeks, to be precise) and I have basically just been relaxing the whole time. Let me take you on a quick run-through of what my weekend was:

1230 Saturday: My friend was dropped off at my house, and we left for East Lansing.
1330 Saturday: Stopped to get some McDonald’s and fill up the tank with gas.
1410 Saturday: Arrived at second friend’s house and left for Charlotte after a quick tour.
1450 Saturday: Arrive at second friend’s cottage; all of our other friends were already there.
1515 Saturday: Went kayaking with Friend 03.
1600 Saturday: Ate some food before heading out on the Wave Runner for tubing and a driving lesson.
1830 Saturday: Second round of food accompanied by s’mores and bug spray.
1900 Saturday: A little girl declared her love for me, followed by a bunch of awkward photographs.
2030 Saturday: Fireworks over the lake begin.
0000 Sunday: My four friends and I retreat back into the cottage, followed by long discussions about our opposite sex problems.
0120 Sunday: Rowdiness ensues despite the paper thin walls (eventually quelled around 0230).
0915 Sunday: My friends start waking up; I take this opportunity to actually get some sleep.
1200 Sunday: I get up, eat some food, then go for a swim.
1530 Sunday: I take a quick nap, only to be awoken by my friends jumping on me.
1645 Sunday: Departure from the cottage: I head back to East Lansing.
1750 Sunday: Drop Friend 01 (the one who was dropped off at my house on Saturday) at her apartment, then head to Friend 02’s house.
1810 Sunday: Showers, followed by a departure to see The Hangover, starting at 1850.
2050 Sunday: Depart from friend’s house for Beverly Hills.

Well, I didn’t really need to go through all of that, but I figured for completeness I’d include it. Most of the times, especially once we arrived at the cottage, are mere guesses, since I obviously couldn’t take my phone with me to keep track of time, nor would I want to.

Anyway, I did a lot of fun things, most of which I hadn’t done all summer and some things I did for the first time (like driving a jet ski). I enjoyed myself the entire weekend, ate some more burgers and hot dogs, and saw some friends I hadn’t seen since school got out. All in all I had a great time.

Which brings me back to it being the beginning of summer. Needless to say, I haven’t had the best summer with an increasingly-declining work environment, an almost complete absence of all of my friends, a failing relationship juxtaposed with a growing one, and the negligence of a younger sibling. This really was my first opportunity to just go out, be myself, and have fun, something I will be hard-pressed to find once my Junior year begins in the fall.

Either way, I’m looking forward to these next two months of summer.

Two stories that everyone should read

Today, while eating a dinner of Arby’s Beef ‘n Cheddars and wondering what to do for the rest of the night, my dad passed me the latest issue of Sports Illustrated, opened up to an article. “You need to read this, and make sure that your brother and sister read it, too.” I knew that it was going to be an emotional story, akin to some e-mails he has sent me in the past about economic hardships and any other touching story he’s ever told us or mentioned.

Link to The New York Times article, written soon after the game last year. The SI story is recounted differently, but the essence is the same.

When reading the story, I couldn’t help to stop some tears welling up in my eyes. What Mallory and Liz did for their opponent is nothing short of inspirational. Once I put the magazine down, the only things I could think about were how many people in this world would not do the same, and how I would help a fallen opponent in a similar fashion if the opportunity ever arose. So many people don’t have the common decency to look out for their fellow human beings, to be a kind person no matter what it does to your stats or position or anything else. Being the best person you can be should be all that matters.

Which brings me to my next story, this time coming from high school basketball: Link to ESPN’s article

Missing those two free-throws, normally something that would cause the entire team to run lines or stay an extra hour after next practice to “redeem” themselves then becomes a symbol of human kindness, decency, compassion, and understanding. Who cares if you lose the game, which both helping teams did? Who cares if you miss your chance at a title for being a good person?

If only more people could show the heart to help out a person in need, whether it’s in a sporting event or while walking down the street, this world would be a much better place.