I contacted my astronaut friend today to get any word about how the NASA selection process is going. He said they'd made the first cut and that if my references weren't contacted, then I've been passed over, which means I didn't make it to the "Highly Qualified" pile. So this one's over. At least I know now.
I wonder who looked at my application and what they thought...I'll try again if they open up the application again three years from now (they usually open it every 4 years - since 2000 anyways). But by then I'll be 42 and my friend said once I'm over 40, it gets a lot harder to get selected. If I made it past the first cut this time, I'd think there might be a chance next time. As it stands now, it all seems very unlikely. 18,000 other applicants were too hard to beat.
So the dream is disappearing, but still maybe one last chance, though an unlikely one. For now, it means some good things...I can keep teaching at Berkshire School, keep flying Freddy, keep sailing Daphne, keep driving Bessie. Perhaps a future sail across the Atlantic will be better than a flight in space. I can keep playing the guitar and bass and I don't have to move to Houston.
I didn't expect to get selected, but it's still disappointing. For now I'll just have to be an astronaut on planet Earth. I'll just have to make that do for now and maybe forever. Generally it is awesome being an astronaut on Earth, but I wanted a taste of space. Maybe someday. I'll keep training, as the training might be almost as good as the real thing.
Thanks to all who've supported and encouraged me in this pursuit. One of the best part of being an astronaut would have been how many people I could have shared the experience with, and also riding a rocket into space would have been pretty cool too.
Back to Earth adventures! To infinity and beyond!