Navy Bars Some Officers From Seeking To Be Astronauts
The Navy is barring some officers in certain specialties from a chance to become NASA astronauts, The New York Times reported.
While large numbers of Navy officers have become astronauts, the Navy now is confronted with wartime problems of staffing some specialties, and thus won’t accept applications from officers in those fields seeking to fly to space.
While naval pilots aren’t restricted from attempting to become astronauts, and thus still may seek to join NASA, NASA isn’t seeking pilots at this time, according to the report.
Starting in October 2010, NASA won’t have a spaceship to fly, because the space shuttle fleet will retire then, and the replacement Orion-Ares spaceship won’t have a manned flight until 2015, if then.
Meanwhile, U.S. astronauts will have to hitch rides as passengers on spacecraft of other nations or commercial firms, such as the Russian Soyuz, piloted by their personnel. (Please see separate story in this issue.)
The first U.S. astronaut, Alan B. Shepherd, was a Navy pilot.