Preparing for Astronaut Class
Since the first group of astronauts in 1959, there have been at least 22 different astronaut classes, each notably different. So although you may not end up in space, being in the program itself is a step in the right direction. The first class of astronauts included seven members chosen for the Mercury program, though NASA has changed since then. It initially recruited mainly from the military, but it began to diversify its recruiting pool as it evolved. That is why you see more engineers and doctors as astronauts than only military pilots today.
For example, the 4th class of astronauts is known as “The Scientists.” That class included the only geologist to ever walk on the moon. The eighth class, from 1978, included women, African Americans, and Asian-Americans. The 16th class was the largest class, with 44 members, and the first class to ever have a fifty-fifty split was in 2013: the 21st class and they only had eight members. Each class has had their own job to perform to keep everything operating smoothly. Work still is required in terms of diversity. However, we can be sure that each astronaut is hired for their merits. We should applaud this notion.