Maybe We Should Tip the Cosmonauts, Da?

This is a shortie today, because I spent the entire last week racing to finish my next science fiction novel, tentatively titled The Old Man in the Void, and then the weekend trying to catch up on everything else I let fall by the wayside.

As many of you know, NASA just closed its application process, with 6000 applicants.  What you may not have known is Russia was also seeking cosmonauts.

They had 43, and at least one applied because he lived close, so the commute would be easy; and another didn't want to release his mental health records.  Let's hope that there are some actual serious and qualified applicants.

The Russian space agency is saying that part of the problem is the danger and part of it is a simple reflection of the economy.  It probably doesn't help that  baggage porters make better money than cosmonauts.  Maybe if we tipped them?  And should be mention the recent troubles with the Soyuz capsules?

I have to wonder, too, if it's because the Russian people have lost the dream?  Has space travel become a grunt job?  If so, then we might want to be careful about our own society's attitudes toward space.  Right now, we still have the dream, but we face a lot of frustration in program changes and bureaucratic and political concerns gumming up the works.  Commercial space, IMHO has given us a shot in the arm of enthusiasm.  Let's hope we can sustain that.

You can read more about the cosmosuats here.

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