Zero Fs for Zero G

A demotivational children’s story

Source: Wikimedia Commons

When you grow up, kid, you can be anything you want to be.

Except for an astronaut.

Every child born since humankind first entered space has wished to be in zero G. It is not a unique dream.

There are 332,624,742 people in the U.S., of which only 365 achieved careers as astronauts with NASA. Those are odds of just .0001%.

In other words, you’re more likely to win the lottery and get struck by lightning.

For starters, NASA expects you to have at minimum a bachelor’s degree in engineering, biological science, physical science, or mathematics. Almost every candidate has at least one advanced degree; many of them have multiple PhDs.

Becoming a graduate of the Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program or its equivalent in the Air Force is about the only way you can hope to get in without multiple advanced degrees.

I realize this is all merely jargon to you at the moment. Suffice to say, with hard work, time, and money, you could potentially earn such lofty degrees. But making it past all the other hurdles will be progressively more unlikely.

· You must pass a rigorous NASA space physical and psychological evaluation. Let’s be honest, kid — you’re not going to pass. You break crayons and flail around on the floor when you can’t have what you want.

· You must be comfortable living in cramped, confined quarters with the same people for an entire mission. You can’t even handle a two-hour road trip with your siblings without squabbling. In a spacecraft, when Joe farts, you’ll know; and that stink will hang around until the air systems clear it out — which can take a while. When you cry, because you miss Mommy and Daddy back on Earth, your crewmates will tell you to stop damaging the incredibly expensive equipment with your salty tears.

· You’ll eat often-bland meals out of a pouch, the same ones over and over. We all know what a picky eater you are — you only want cornflakes and gummies. The good nutritionists at NASA will ensure you are eating a balanced, healthy diet while you’re up there, which means gummies will be few and far between. Cornflakes are a big no-no — imagine the damage those crispy flakes with their ridged edges could do to the equipment!

· In space, there’s no privacy for pooping. You must train on Earth how to use the space toilet. There may even be a camera involved, pointing right at your business end, to see if you’re doing it right. If you’re terrified you’ll fall into the potty, just wait ’til you try these acrobatics in space.

· You’ll lose your lunch! Did you know that most astronauts get sick their first day in space? Zero G confuses your body. After all, it was designed for life on Earth! You will feel nauseous and vomit repeatedly until your body adjusts. It’s not the thrill of being on a merry-go-round; rather, you are subjected to significant pressure followed by discombobulating weightlessness.

· It’s dark! In the black void of space, no nightlight is going to ease your fears about a monster lurking under the bed.

So, please — stop dreaming, kid, and set your sights on something more realistic. A career that doesn’t involve putting Earth in your rearview mirror.

What’s that you say — President is your next choice? Well, the decreasing odds of achieving that position is a story for another day.

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