Is it possible to be both an astronaut and astrophysicist?

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Main Question or Discussion Point

If someone earns phD in astrophysics and then he/she is selected to be an astronaut, is it possible that this person will have a REALLY successful career in astrophysics?
I've read so many times that after coming back to earth astronauts are usually mentors and educators.
So, my question is: is it possible to be a successful astrophysicist after an ISS mission?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
berkeman
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What percentage of astrophysicists are selected for ISS missions? If you end up in that elite stratosphere of scientists/astronauts, I don't think you will need to worry about job prospects. Study hard and reach high! :smile:
 
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Sally Ride comes to mind.

Peace,
Fred
 
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Vanadium 50
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is it possible that this person will have a REALLY successful career in astrophysics?
I don't think it's ever really happened. Look at, e.g. Harrison Schmitt. He didn't go back to geology. The closest might be Curt Michel, but he never went into space.
 
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Study hard and reach high!
Not only study but think different. You'll have to show how different you are from others so as to be specially chosen to be an astronaut.

Good luck! Hope to see you writing in PF from ISS.
 
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Not only study but think different. You'll have to show how different you are from others so as to be specially chosen to be an astronaut.

Good luck! Hope to see you writing in PF from ISS.
Thanks for the last sentence ^^
 
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Re: Lampton. But JDEM never happened.
 
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phinds
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Re: Lampton. But JDEM never happened.
Right, Mike never made it to space. Must have frustrated the hell out of him to be selected for mission after mission (4 or 5 as I recall) and have all of them cancelled or something that kept him from ever going. He did continue to do scientific research however (in cosmology) so he really was both an astronaut and a research scientist.
 
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JDEM was the post-NASA activity. And that never happened. (In addition to the flights not happening)

I think fundamentally this is an issue with time. If you spend N years of your life as an astronaut, that's N years of your life you don't spend as a whatever. It's the same issue that vexes the people who come here and say "my plan is to get 3 PhDs, and then..."
 

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