Becoming an Astronaut

Christina Thatcher

Brother, if you want to become an astronaut you must

first earn a degree in engineering, science, or mathematics.

This will take 4 years or more. After this you can choose:

become a pilot, join the military, complete a PhD or recognise

you exceed the height requirement (147 centimetres)

and decide this is enough to try. Astronauts must

then complete technical courses in meteorology

and geology. You must learn to scuba dive and survive

in the open ocean, treading water for hours. You must fly

a T-38 Talon Jet, learn Russian. You must receive medical training.

You must accept the principles of microgravity. You must

simulate space walks at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory. 

You must repair and operate space vehicles. You must relearn

how to move objects in a frictionless world. You must trust

your mentors and rehearse your chosen mission. You must

embrace fear but understand, too, that you are ready:

you have been training for this since the first day

you picked up a needle and took yourself to the moon.

black and white headshot of Christina Thatcher

Christina Thatcher is a Creative Writing Lecturer at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Her work has featured in over 40 publications including The London Magazine, Planet Magazine and The Interpreter’s House. Her debut, More than you were, was published by Parthian Books in 2017. To learn more, visit christinathatcher.com or follow @writetoempower.