WHAT I HAVE LEARNED FROM LISTENING TO ASTRONAUTS
1. Don’t stop striving for success, more education or future endeavors due to the success you experience now. Continue on to do even greater things.
"The road is daunted with many tempting parking spaces. Resist temptation." -Julie Payette
Many Astronauts retire from NASA after incredible careers and journeys only to go on to become three star generals like Susan Helms or President/CEOs of Companies such as Franklin Chaing Diaz who currently presides over Ad Astra (plasma propulsion) Rocket Company.
2. Don’t listen to societal expectations of you whether it be because of your gender, language, nationality or age. Don’t let such things limit you.
Shannon Lucid was told by a teacher when she said she wanted to be a space explorer that no such job exists- if it did, it would never be given to a woman. She was a girl growing up in Oklahoma in the 50’s of missionary parents.
Lyndon Johnson once wrote “Let’s Stop This Now” on the proposal to consider women for the astronaut program.
Both Chang Diaz and Payette first became interested in space exploration and becoming astronauts before learning English.
Sally Ride was the youngest person to go to space at 32 yrs 23 days and John Glenn the oldest at 77 years. Most astronauts these days are in their mid to late forties when they live aboard the ISS.
3. Take care of your body.
Kathy Thornton once gave advice to children in an audience that I was in to take care of their bodies. Don’t smoke. Don’t drink excessively. Stay healthy, fit and active. There are tons of well qualified, bright scientists that get turned away from NASA due to poor health choices they made throughout their lives.
4. Everything you do influences who you become.
This is part of an excerpt from a stem for girls lecture by Tracy E. Caldwell Dyson.
5. Do not let your failures define you.
Sunita Williams (commander of Expedition 33 on a long duration spaceflight aboard the ISS) was rejected from the astronaut candidate program twice before she was accepted to begin training.
6. Keep going even if success is so far removed that you cannot see it on the horizon. Keep faith in what you are doing.
Shannon Lucid trained in Star City, Russia for years with little to no contact with family, friends and NASA due to a administrative-type feud going on between the two space agencies. All of her classes were in Russia and she heard very little English during her stay. Eventually the dust settled and her hard work and faith in what she was pursuing paid off and she held the record for the longest duration stay in space by an American.
7. Be an expert in your field- whatever it may be.
It is only by the experiences gathered early in your life that doors open to you in the future.
8. The importance of teamwork and cooperation.
No one in NASA, or any agency, is acts alone. They work with everyone from Scientists, Psychologists to other ground crew members.
9. The importance of good planning and careful calculation.
Take good, calculated risks. Find something you believe in wholly and pursue it with great force and ambition.
10. The role of ambition, drive and integrity, the importance of humility and the recognition of luck.