A good career move

To the casual observer, it would seem sensible to assign scientists as flight crew members. After all, astronomy is one of the oldest "sciences" and studies of space phenomena have been a high priority since the dawn of the space age. However, in reviewing the sometimes difficult process of recruiting scientists to space training in both America and Russia, this does not seem to have been the case. The American scientist-astronaut groups of 1965 and 1967 experienced this new challenge, but faced almost insurmountable hurdles and long delays before finally being accepted and flying into space. Their journey was far less frustrating than that of their Russian colleagues, but selection to the programme was only the first hurdle. Once they were assigned as a space trainee, these experienced academics had to go right back to school to learn brand new skills and overcome new challenges on their road to space.

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