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There goes my dream of being an astronaut

I’ve had a life-long dream of going into space. I was at the launch of Apollo 13 and voraciously read science fiction since I was a young boy.

I always thought the shuttle program missed a golden opportunity to help fund itself by having a lottery to win a space on each shuttle. I would have bought lottery tickets. Lots of them.

Now Reason notes that NASA is accepting applications…

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has a need for Astronaut Candidates to support the International Space Station (ISS) Program and future deep space exploration activities.

KEY REQUIREMENTS

Position subject to pre-employment background investigation
This is drug-testing designated position
Frequent travel may be required
Selectee must pass a pre-employment medical examination

Key requirements?

There goes my dream. I won’t apply for a position that requires drug testing on principle. (Not that I’m young enough to be an astronaut anyway, or would have a chance of being in physical shape to do it.)

The odd part to me is that I would assume that the medical examination for an astronaut would be so comprehensive as to know what you had for lunch last week and would certainly know whether you had taken any drugs. It’s the listing of drug testing as a key job requirement that puts it on my do-not-apply list.

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17 comments to There goes my dream of being an astronaut

  • daksya

    Pete, I simply assume that Federal job postings have a complex standard format to be adhered to, and that drug testing is a specific category that needs to be disclosed as per some Federal Regulation XX.YY.ZZ. I doubt that the presence of that line indicates a deliberate emphatic requirement by NASA.

    • True, daksya. It looks like boilerplate job posting stuff. My “rant” isn’t against NASA, but rather the ubiquitous mindless bureaucratization of drug testing.

    • Deep Dish

      I have no doubt that all safety-sensitive and special-risk positions are drug tested. After all, those are the only positions which can be randomly tested without suspicion.

      And in other news, the ABC News webpage is showing “This Day In History: Nov. 18, 1988: Reagan’s War on Drugs. Reagan signs a bill establishing harsher penalties for drug traffickers.” I’m sure Newt Gingrich is celebrating with a dinner party tonight.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      How could anyone support an astronaut flying around in outer space while constantly stoned on dope? They would get lost on the dark side of the moon! The next thing you know elementary schools everywhere will have space shuttles crashing into them because the pilot was listening to Pink Floyd instead of paying attention! Have you ever seen an elementary school that’s been devastated by a space ship? Smoking pot will also use up all the oxygen and make the pilots suffocate!
      ———-
      Synthetic urine?

  • Furball

    I worked as a subcontractor building space suits for them for quite awhile. I was eventually let go when they first announced ending the manned space flight program. I wasn’t too worried about it, except for the lack of income. I knew that I’d have to pee to get the job, even though it was a 7-4 position that required patience that cannabis would’ve helped with. My wife said that while she liked the $$ I brought home, the stress and anger from my end w/ no meds for PTSD made the experience a bittersweet one.

  • David Hart

    Can’t I be an astronaut and a psychonaut? Sadlynaut.

  • carl sagan would have been a good candidate, notwithstanding

  • Servetus

    It’s still possible to travel into space, or at least close to it, without being subjected to invasive drug tests. It just takes money—a lot of it: $200K with a $20K deposit. Sign up here:

    http://www.virgingalactic.com/booking/

    And you might want to consider taking out some life insurance, which can be obtained here:

    http://www.thelocal.de/money/20111118-38951.html

  • claygooding

    I never wanted to be an astronaut but would love to take a “cruise” in space.

    Take along a gal and find out if weightless sex is fun.

    Wonder where a good “parking” spot is,,,no dirt roads and all.

  • ezrydn

    When I worked at JSC, I got to go up in the Vomit Comet (no, I didn’t lose it!). That was great (40 parablas out and 40 back, 33 sec ea). That’s about as close as I wanna get. No flames, thanks. And, BTW, no pee test. That was 79-80 era.

    • darkcycle

      Every time they made me go UP in some sort of machine, I was required to find my OWN way down, if ya know what I mean…I used to like flying, too.

    • Duncan20903

      I’ve never been in a vehicle that at some point in time that I didn’t have to get out and push. I’ve got to be seriously wasted to get on an airplane.

  • Yage Panther

    I am always annoyed by signs in clubs or hostels saying: “Use of illicit drugs is not allowed in this building.”

    Is this for promoting use of illicit weapons in this building? Or at least for signifying that illicit activities which do not involve drugs are less unallowed than those involving illicit drugs?

    Why there is no need for putting up signs saying: “Theft, fraud, rape and the like are not allowed in this building”?