My husband has long had a fascination with space, perhaps inspired by his favorite music artist David Bowie’s iconic “Starman” and “Space Oddity” songs from Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust phase. So when the evening news had a segment announcing that the European Space Agency is recruiting astronauts for the first time in eleven years, our ears perked up.
They are looking for men and women who have a Masters degree in science, engineering or mathematics. Some of the criteria the agency is looking for in their candidates include having a driver’s license (check), are able to swim (not a strong swimmer, but okay), works well in a team environment (um, my last job evaluation scored me as “room for improvement” but the truth of the matter is that Darren in Accounts Payable is a bitch), be able to scuba dive for up to eight hours a day to simulate microgravity in space (all right, I’m done), participate in parabolic flight operations to simulate zero gravity conditions (nope, I throw up on roller coaster rides), and have demonstrated skillful risk assessment in extreme conditions (on the other hand, I have survived Black Fridays at a Best Buy superstore).
While I am probably not the ideal candidate for going up into space as an astronaut, another gay man is breaking the glass ceiling as possibly the first gay space tourist. You might remember Jon Carmichael from the amazing photo he took during the Great Solar Eclipse of 2017 titled “108.” He is one of the finalists for a planned Elon Musk branded SpaceX flight in 2023, and while nothing is certain, Carmichael stands a good chance of joining a handful of others as the rocket travels for a week long “cruise” around the moon.
To see the story behind his incredible photo of the eclipse watch this short YouTube video. We hope he realizes his life’s dream of participating in this space adventure, and earning a place in the record books as yet another gay first.