Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Will I be applying? OF COURSE!

So I have been asked if I am going to be applying for the astronaut candidate slot....well of course! I'd like to personally thank those who left inspiring comments for me to apply. I encourage those who are contemplating on applying to just do it!

So get this....the required standing height minimum is 62 inches. I am 62.5. I was close on that one. Phew!!! During my senior year of college, I was thinking about going into the Navy or the Air Force to become a pilot. I couldn't go into the Navy because I didn't have the perfect 20/20 vision. The Air Force wouldn't take me because I was 0.5 inch short of the standing and sitting height requirement. Oh well..at least I am okay to apply for the astronaut candidate position.

I am projecting on getting my application and paperwork in by mid February. The cutoff for applications is July 1, 2008.

I do have some good news. I have finals coming up in about two weeks for a class I am currently taking, which leaves only my research to be completed. During my last school term, I wrote my proposal for my graduate research project. Once your proposal is approved, you have to search for two board members to support your research. When I wrote my proposal, I was little disappointed in the direction my research topic was going. I had my topic in mind but had to change based on comments from the class and professor. The topic I had last term was comparing the public affairs methods used to inform the public by NASA and various military branches. It just wasn't the way I really wanted to go. My main concern was to evaluate how NASA was communicating to the public, not the military. After talking to a previous professor, it sounds like my original intentions were right on track. He and another colleague of his will be supporting my research!!! Now, I will be soley researching NASA's Public Affairs methods on communicating the importance of space exploration and how effective they are to the public. The term to complete my research will begin November 7, 2007, which means I will be complete with my Masters February 19, 2008!!!

After talking to my manager, I will not be going to Houston to support on-orbit imagery inspection for STS-120. As vehicle lead, I will need to stay to help process Atlantis (OV-104) get ready for transfer to the VAB. I will however, get to go out to Houston for STS-122 (launch December 6th)!!!


Unknown said...

Good for you, Damaris! Congratulations on nearing your degree completion. I bet with your application in, graduation will be doubly exciting. Good luck with the research!

Anonymous said...

Isn't there a Thesis requirement for Graduation?

Andy said...

My wife always makes fun of me when I watch "NASA" TV on our DirectTV. Tonight I was held captive by the Dawn Press Conference. I've always been interested in the discovery missions, and this one is no different. I think the dwarf planets are going return amazing science. Vesta and Ceres being so "close together" and yet so different is very fascinating.

So how is NASA communicating this very important exploration to the public? I'd love to give you my thoughts to this. NASA has been doing a good job recently identying audience. "The Prius of Space" article online is a brilliant way of introducing this mission to someone more interested in the technical icing of the mission. NASA has done a good job recently with online broadband components showing the complexity and importance of missions. I wish there was more information about the Constellation program.

It really is sad that we must hear about American IDOL on our evening news. The local and national media would rather cover Britney and Michael Vick, than do a story on Cassini. Of course the medias today would rather cover the foam tile damage and "Drunk Astronauts"

Sorry for hijacking the blog. I guess I should begin writing on my own again. Damaris, if you need someone outside NASA that stays tuned into the marketing efforts of NASA, I'll be honored to help.

By the way, Congrats again on all that you are doing. If you do what you love, you'll never have to work.

Andy Darnell

Damaris Sarria Toepel said...

..about the thesis requirement. For the graduate program I am enrolled in at ERAU, I don't have to do an actual thesis. However, my research, which will be just as lengthly, is my graduation requirement. Last term, I wrote the first three chapters of my proposal. This next coming term will be where I perform the actual research and evaluation.

Damaris Sarria Toepel said...

Andy, thanks for you comment and I agree with you that lately NASA is improving on the communication methods to the public. Unfortunately, we do compete with what the media currently highlights in entertainment. Thanks again for your comments and I think the closing statement on your post is key!!!

Julie Rodriguez Jones said...

Just found your BLOG via Universe Today. Good for you and making a plan with written goals. I hope you make it! I went back and looked at some of your great entries from 2005. For most people what you are gettting to do right now is just a dream. It was for me when I was younger. I'll be checking in on you from time to time. Thanks for the posts and the great photos!! Wish I was there.

Anonymous said...

Do you think you will continue your education to the PhD level?

Damaris Sarria Toepel said...

I definitely plan I going to the PhD level. However, I would like to do a couple more Masters in different area. Possibly Materials or Biomedical Engineering (I'm leaning more towards Materials Engr. as it really interests me). But, getting my PhD is definitely something I'd like to pursue.

Mihkel said...

Having read your blog for a while, I had been wondering when the time would come. Your efforts so far have my deepest respect, your inner drive is truly inspiring! I wish you success in your application.

Ali said...

Wow! It is so exciting that you are applying for the astronaut candidate position. I wish you the best of luck!

Reading your blog has been so inspiring to me. You have so many goals and you are so dedicated to them. I hope that you get the position because I can tell how devoted you are to this field.

Congratulations on almost completing your degree. I am also a college student and I know how much effort it takes to work and go to school at the same time. I know that your hard work will pay off in the future!

Julie Rodriguez Jones said...

This article from Wired should be right up your alley. It is about a NASA slogan campaign which Wired took a step further. It includes a video that a company submitted too.
Here is the article:

Here is the video:

Infinitus said...

Wow, just found your blog. As a swedish citizen I gave up my astronaut dreams at around age 20, as ESA takes in so few and my vision is far from perfect. But it is so inspiring to read your blog, to see someone so focused on that lofty lofty goal! All the best of luck and strength and perseverence to you from Stockholm!

jojovsayson said...

Dear Damaris,
Congratulations! Great to find someone reaching for the stars. If possible, I would like to speak to you as I will also apply for the astronaut candidate position. I am a physical therapist,educator, and volunteer investigator for NASA at UCSD residing in Illinois. My work email is saysonspt@yahoo.com otherwise my google account email. Cheers! Godspeed & speeding bullets--------Jojo Sayson