Monday, November 03, 2008

Pregnancy and Astronaut Selection

So in searching for info about where the selection process was, I came across a Yahoo! group for Astronaut hopefuls. I very quickly joined and posted my question to the group: "Do I call the selection office and call attention to myself and my pregnancy (and maybe get on their "one of _those_ people" list for bugging them) or do I just wait until my references have been contacted and _then_ raise the issue?"

The resounding answer was to go ahead and call them. Second to that was the information that pregnancy medically disqualifies you from the selection process. So, I no longer want to go down to Houston in November with the _first_ group of interviewees, I now want to go down in January with the _last_ group of interviewees. That way I won't be medically disqualified (since I'll no longer be preggers), and I'll have as long as possible to heal (and lose weight) post-partum before the first set of medical tests.

When they contact your references, they also tell you to get something similar to a Class II flight physical (what's necessary for getting a pilot's license). I had to get one long ago in order to fly on the KC-135 (the "Vomit Comet") and the only thing I remember from that which might disqualify me would be the baby weight. I remember a hearing test (which I only just barely passed due to a MD men's basketball game that I'd been in the pep band for the night before), a vision test...I guess I had to get a pap smear...blood pressure, etc. Anyway, nothing active, you just had to seem like you were in good health to the qualified doc who had to clear you. And you couldn't be considered "overweight," which may be my downfall.

Anyway, I called the selection office (who didn't say that I had no shot) and they suggested that I talk to the flight docs to see what they say since there will be so little time for healing post-partum, even if I'm in the last group. She transferred me and I left a message for the clinic nurses. We'll see if/when they get back to me. If my references _are_ checked and they haven't gotten back to me by then, I'll call the selection office again to see if I can get a direct line for a specific flight doc rather than just the main JSC clinic number.

But in good news, it didn't seem like an imposition at all for me to have called, so I don't _think_ I'm on their "one of _those_ people" list. At least not yet.

We're trying to teach AJ what "later" and "wait" mean. Sucks that I have to learn those over again too...

1 comment:

Nevis said...

Well, I hope you get to go...then I can say that I (sort of) know an astronaut!!!