(Cape Canaveral, FL) –NASA, the American counterpart to the Canadian Space Agency, is reporting that this year has seen an unprecedented spike in astronaut applications from Alberta. NASA Spokesman David Astral spoke with me.
“We were expecting a spike in applications from Alberta, to be honest, but not to the degree of this spike. We’re receiving a few hundred applications a day, and obviously the price of oil is a huge contributor to that. Ever since Michael Bay released his documentary about how oil rig workers can easily become astronauts, we’ve been getting applications from Alberta during declines in the oil patch.”
But Astral claims that the ease of training does not make his job easier.
“You might then think, hey, if rig workers are so easily trained as astronauts, they take about a week, then why not save a lot of money in training costs? Well, frankly, it’s not that simple. In short, rig workers are too good of an astronaut. They’re too good. You just can’t put that many exceptional astronauts on the same mission. All of our mission schedules would be thrown out the window. We plan for it to take a certain amount of time to launch a satellite, but they get it done in a fraction of the time, and then they have to wait for conditions to be right for their landing. So there’s a lot of sitting around for them. Well, floating around.”
“Hell, if the mission includes drilling, you can pretty much forget about timing being an issue.”
But using rig workers as astronauts has other drawbacks as David explains.
“Space Dementia is a big problem with rig workers. We don’t know why, but if they’re up there inactive for too long, at least one of them is going to get it. Which you’ll recall will become a problem when they’re too effective.”