Friday, April 20, 2012

Accepted as a finalist!

First there were 750.....

Then there were 150....

Now there are only 30....

6 will go to "Mars"

Woke up this morning to this email: 
"Dear HI-SEAS Applicant,

Once again, thank you for your interest in the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, and for your patience as we have given the large number of highly qualified applicants due consideration. You have been selected to move on to the next stage, which will involve a telephone interview, references and a medical examination."
Needless to say I'm smiling today!!! It is an honor to have made it this far in the selection process, though the next stage is the hardest.

The next steps I'll need to go through for this round of selection will be:

  1.   Get a Class 2 Flight Physical
  2.   Provide two references 
  3.   Clear my summer schedule for June 12-15 for the training session
  4.   Arrange for my interview! 
Each of these will represent its own challenge. The easiest will be the Flight Physical. I am in decent shape, no chronic medical conditions, and exercise regularly. Barring any unknown medical problems, this shouldn't be hard to pass.

Selecting references will be difficult. While I have a large potential pool of references to draw from I need to pick references that will emphasize my strongest points. With my multidisciplinary background this will be difficult to narrow it down to only two! 

And finally the hardest part... The interview. 

Everything else up until this point has essentially been based on your resume. Even a flight physical can be seen as your body's resume. But the interview is the main opportunity for the selection committee to see how well you will live and work with others. 
How I feel right now? On top of the world!
Are you personable? Easy to get along with? How do you manage conflict? Would they want to be trapped in a tin can for six months with you? 

All of this the selection committee needs to obtain from a simple interview. 

Whatever the future holds it is an honor to have made it thus far. The list of 150 "Highly Qualified Candidates" was a "Who's Who" of Mars Analog participants, space enthusiasts, and aerospace professionals.

And only six can go to "Mars". 


  1. Congratulations! So cool. I was not, however, selected. :-(
    I never heard that there was a cut to 150. Do you have that list of "highly qualified" candidates?

    1. Terry,

      Yes there were 2 cuts. The first cut went from the initial 750 applicants down to 150 "Highly Qualified Candidates". They then further refined the list down to 30 "Finalists".

      There is no public list of who made the 150 or 30 cuts. The email for the 150 cut went out on April 7th.

    2. Ah. I did get the April 7 email saying I was still being considered; there was, however, no mention of being one of 150 "highly qualified" candidates selected so far. That would have been good to know, but I can assume from what you ay that I was if I got that email. Thanks.

  2. Well, Josh, I guess it's time to stop lurking and say congratulations. I also made the cut, so I've been contacting my references to let them know what's coming.

    This has been the most work and time I've ever put into an application for such a short duration "job" for so little pay. But it oughta be cool.

    Knock 'em dead in the interview.


    1. Hey "Ed"! Pleasure to meet you. Best of luck on the final round! Only know the identities of two other finalists so far, both fellow alumni of the International Space University (ISU).

      If I may, what's your background?

  3. Certainly, I can give you a thumbnail background.

    I have a master's degree in electrical engineering, and my thesis work was in motion sickness (1987). I spent 20 years in the Air Force, alternating between Operations as a B-52 pilot, and research in the Human Engineering lab at Wright-Patterson. I see you spent some time in Grand Forks, ND. I lived 6 years in Minot at my first operational squadron, so we both know how to say "Uff-da" and "Yaa, sure". Since retiring from the AF, I've been working as an Air Force contractor in engineering and program management for a couple of different companies. Right now, I vacillate between calling myself "between jobs" and "semi-retired".

    I learned about the HI-SEAS study completely by chance the Friday before the Wed deadline. I was reading something completely on the Forbes website, and happened to see an article about "NASA will pay you to eat space food" in the recent articles sidebar. I looked at it, realized I still had time to apply (just barely--it was a pretty intense weekend of application writing), and sent off my application a day early to avoid the last minute in-box overflow.

    When I e-mailed my daughter the links to the study web page and Forbes article, her response was, "Dad, you'd be perfect for this", and I replied, "Don't tell me, tell them". So my task in the interview will be to convince them that I am exactly what they need.

    Best of luck to you. I'll be checking on your blog from time to time to see how you're doing.



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