Tuesday, November 04, 2008

10 days until STS-126 launch!

Last week the crew was at Kennedy Space Center for their countdown rehearsal. Launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour is currently scheduled for Nov. 14 at 7:55 p.m. EST and landing is scheduled for Nov. 29 at 2:18 p.m.

I will also be preparing to travel to Houston for this mission to assist with the on-orbit imagery inspection of the Thermal Protection System ensuring the vehicle and crew will have a safe re-entry.


Anonymous said...

Hello Damaris, this is my second comment to you.

I have always followed NASA. As a child me and my brothers watched the first landings. I wish there were videos of everything that was televised a set of DVDs. Most of the DVDs that I've seen were incomplete!

I'm still hoping to be selected for astronaut training with my first application, but my age is 52. After reading my brief profile, would you answer the following question for me. The question is what do you think my chances are of getting selected, and why?

Since December 1996, I have been very athletic. My weight-lifting routine involves lifting for a total of 4 hours a week on 4 different days. I do aerobics (jogging and I use a rowing machine to cross-train [prevents accidents]) for 30 minutes each day.

To try to improve my life I take about 60 different supplements each day. All of my over the counter supplements have been approved by two good doctors!

Anyway, I'm hoping NASA needs a very good software engineer with some electronic experience (discrete components) thrown in.

Some of my professional accomplishments are that I built most of the support software for a new large missile testing facility, and I'm currently building support software for the F22 program.

The skill that I have to offer NASA is that I can program anything in any well known computer language to do anything.

Most of my professional work involves building my own programs from scratch.

All the professional jobs that I have had were pre-leadership roles.

At home, I have an expensive Lab-Volt system (it costs about $10k new) to keep-up on my electronic university skills.

I have three MS degrees in CS (Computer Science), ECE, and a bridge between the two. I have two bachelor degrees. My first BS degree was in geology, and my BA degree is in CS.

I was in college for 18 years. And, I lived in the dorms for 13 and 1/2 of those years.
My collection of rocks, minerals, and meteorites is in the hundreds.

I wish you luck.

Will you wish me luck as well!

Christopher M. Lusardi

Damaris Sarria Toepel said...

Hi Christopher,

You definitely have many accomplishments and I think you have a great shot. We don't know exactly what NASA is looking for aside from the basic requirements and qualifications.

The way I look at things, my accomplishments are for the things I enjoy and not just a checklist to become an astronaut. I apply knowing that this is a highly competitive selection, but ensure that if I don't become an astronaut, I enjoy life and the work I do.

As long as you are enjoying what you're doing and living a healthy life style, the rest is up to the selection panel.

It's a great achievement to even be able to have the courage and basic requirements to apply for such a position. I commend you for that!!! :) Good luck!!!

Anonymous said...

Do you know of any other Internet sites about people applying to the 2009 NASA astronaut program.

I did a quick search on hotbot and found these below related to the topic:

The first one has unverified numbers etc:





Christopher Mario Lusardi

Anonymous said...

I haven't as of yet received a letter like the following


And, none of my references have contacted me about NASA making inquires.

But, the places I worked are different from Brian's because I had a secret clearance to work there. So, I'll keep my fingers crossed and say a prayer.

Anyway, I'm still waiting to hear something from NASA.

Damaris did you get your letter yet. Or, is NASA going to send it to you later?

Christopher Lusardi

sidd said...

we are on the way to the moon!! :D

BrianShiro said...


The best place to meet up with other astronaut applicants is the Astronauts Hopefuls (AHOS) website:


The ASHOS email message board is managed by Yahoo Groups, with the direct link here:


The "unverified" numbers related to this year's selection on my September 2008 blog post that you cited come from a combination of my own conversations with Teresa Gomez at the NASA Astronaut Selection office, as well as reports posted to the ASHOS message board (most of which are also from direct communication with the Astronaut Selection Office).

The numbers I present in the charts on historical selection statistics come from my own research from sources such as the NASA astronaut bios and http://www.spacefacts.de/ . I plan a more rigorous presentation of the data for a future post.

Good luck!

BrianShiro said...


Here is a list of just a few of the current astronaut applicants that have websites. Note that there were 17300 applicants total this year (3535 to NASA, 5352 to CSA, and 8413 to ESA), so this list is far from complete!

2008 NASA Applicants:

Dave Borzillo

Jessy Cowan-Sharp

Brian Mork

Damaris Sarria

Brian Shiro

Nicholas Skytland

Yuki Takahashi

Justin Woodson

2008 CSA Applicants:

Simian Farmer

Ryan Kobrick (already interviewed by CSA)

2008 ESA Applicants:


Colin McNulty

Henrik Melin

I'm sure if you do some searching, you can find even more. Again, the ASOS board is probably the best place to find fellow applicants.


Sabrina said...

Hey Damaris...

Have you heard anything from NASA yet? I have not, still waiting.

I see Brian received a letter regarding a medical exam. How awesome! I cannot wait to be on the receiving end of one of those letters some day...

Hope you are well!


Anonymous said...

Here's an example of interview week:


Christopher Lusardi

Anonymous said...

Here is a movie clip from "The Right Stuff". It depicts the selection process:


It's amusing to say the least.

Christopher Lusardi

Anonymous said...


Thank you for all the great information. The "Astronaut Hopefuls website" that you gave appears to highly unstable! I have to try and try again to reach it. Don't take this as an insult but that is not very professional. This must be a metaphor for the astronaut selection process.

Anonymous said...

Brian, thanks for prodding me to http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/astronaut-hopefuls/

Christopher Lusardi

BrianShiro said...

Dear anonymous,

I have no connection to the Astronaut Hopefuls website. Usually it works just fine, but I see what you mean. Maybe it's been down this weekend. The website is largely old information, but the email message board (the yahoo group) is the really useful link.