so is it true NASA has a lot of astronauts?

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fatal291

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I know the question sounds dumb but what i mean is, is it true that NASA has more astronauts than they really need? I read that online, however if that was true i do not understand why they have some astronauts going twice or more in the same year. Is this true at all? Is it any type of field more than the other? Like do they have more pilots over medics?
 
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qso1

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I'd say the majority of shuttle pilot/commanders are military guys with some women pilots in the mix. There was a woman shuttle commander a few years back.<br /><br />Mission/payload specialists do not necessarily have to have military backgrounds. There have been quite a few civilian ms/ps types. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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In fact the next mission is commanded by a woman, see STS 120 thread in Missions and Launches. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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qso1

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Thanks MeteorWayne and S_G for the info. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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qso1

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Excellent link. I used the data from Astronautix.com in the past which has the ascans as well. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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erioladastra

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"NASA has more astronauts than they need. "<br /><br />Based on what criteria? Missions are not like driving a bus that you can get off and hop on the next one coming to start over. Generic training takes a long time and then mission specific takes at least 1-2 years depending on the mission (ISS ones take longer). In addition, there is a lot of work that is done by astronauts not working a mission. Believe me - having an astronaut review a procedure or help out in training flight controllers. Engineering development is very useful and daves a lot of wasted time on orbit. Plus, there is burnout and the crews need a break after a mission. So with that said, you can't just say there are N flights a year so you only need N or 2N crews of astronauts around. Now, do we need the exact number we have? I don't know - to answer that we have to define the criteria more carefully.
 
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qso1

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It may be awhile before we see any new ascans. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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erioladastra

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"Don't forget the CAPCOMs"<br /><br />Correct - and actually with all the duties the astronauts have and the fact that ISS is 24/7 - we don't have enough and use non astronauts to man shifts or don't have anyone at all (flight director then talks to the crew).
 
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erioladastra

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"133 astronauts and 14 missions to fly"<br /><br />I am soooo disappointed in your shuttle_guy - but I guess I should not be surprised by such a shuttle centric point of view! <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> Don't forget ISS.
 
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erioladastra

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"When you have so many extra astronauts you need to find them work to do"<br /><br />So back when we only had 7 and started using them as CAPCOMs it was a make work project?<br /><br />Of all the jobs one could debate whether it is worth having the astronauts do, I think this really is the most important on the ground. When we have used non astros the results have not been that great.<br /><br />I would agree that we have more than we need but more in the 20% range.
 
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erioladastra

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"Ah so you do agree there are too many astronauts. We just disagree on the number that are "excess". "<br /><br />Look above - I never eally diasagreed. Of course on my value I think my uncertainity is also around +/-10%.
 
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jimfromnsf

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NASA is hiring a new batch of astronauts, so they must not have enought
 
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erioladastra

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"What about my CAPCOM question.........when have non Astronauts been used? "<br /><br />Sorry Shuttle_Guy, I missed that. On ISS, we have used non astros for the last several years. Usually training people or military types. We use training leads since they spend a great deal of time with the astronauts so they know their concerns, ways of thinking, build a relationship etc. It is extremely important. As to your comment about it being make work in the days of the Original 7... that is not true. They did, and do, really need someone versed/trained/familiar with the mindset of the astronaut. In the control room we view them as the rep or proxy for the person on board. Everyone else thinks like an engineer - they think like an astronaut. The non-astro CAPCOMS have generally not gotten as high marks for these reasons though some do pretty darn good. Also, in special cases the flight controller has been enabled to talk directly to the crew.
 
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adrenalynn

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Given the forward motion in the private sector (finally!) - astronauts may be in higher demand in the future. . . <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
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fatal291

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no one has answered me yet.. keeping moon missions and mars in mind what would be a good job in nasa to be in during those times? (10-20 years from now)
 
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gpbrainard

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HOW ARE YOU DOING YOU DONT KNOW ME BUT I LIK TO MEET PEOPLE IN OUR NEWTON WORLD IN WHICH THEIR WILL BE A TRANSMITION OF IQ KNOWHA <br /> PLES I WANT YOU TO FEED ME BACK
 
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jimfromnsf

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NASA does other things than manned missions. I joined NASA to get away from a shuttle job.
 
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