Ever wonder why so many astronauts are (and were) former fighter pilots? Could it be that flight training is good preparation for astronaut training and thus acts as a natural selection process? Maybe. Or it could be that flying fighter jets attracts a certain type of person who enjoys challenges, works well under pressure, handles disorienting situations, manages risk, and—most importantly—performs well as part of a team.
The space program seeks these same people.
Climb aboard this episode as NASA astronaut and U.S. Navy Captain Scott “Maker” Tingle describes how his previous career as an F/A-18 pilot and test pilot prepared him for the rigors of the astronaut application process and subsequent training program. Marvel at his account of blasting into space on a Russian-made Soyuz rocket, then spending nearly six months on the International Space Station before returning safely to earth in June 2018—experiences that certainly change anyone’s outlook on life and our world.
Episode artwork by Janek Krause. Bumper music, Space Oddity cover, by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Jim Hendershot.