Do you like bouncy castles? Do you like isolating yourself from the rest of the world? Do you like isolating yourself in bouncy castles in space (simulated)? Could you see yourself as an astronaut, but hate the idea of flying?
Then here’s a job posting for those of you with pteromerhanophobia, reclusive tendencies, and childlike interests. Bigelow Aerospace is looking for a few college-educated hermits for their “astronaut-in-space simulation studies“ program. That’s right!! Readers have a chance to work as a fake astronaut on the ground. Bigelow is probably doing this to help promote their Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM).
In case you didn’t know, Bigelow Aerospace is a proponent for, and builder of, expandable/inflatable spacecraft. They’ve sent a few inflatable satellites into Earth’s orbit in the 1960’s already (so, yes, a couple of 100 ft. diameter silver beach balls were floating in space at one time—you can read more about those here). And they lasted much longer than balloons available at a zoo or flower store.
Echo 1, for example, was nearly 8 years old before it reentered the Earth’s atmosphere and provided a nice, fiery funereal display for itself and for residents below. Before that balloon’s demise, when they were operational, both balloons relayed communications signals from one point on the Earth to another. They also apparently helped with geolocating Moscow more accurately for intercontinental ballistic missile targeting—a nice side benefit for the time (and maybe the first time inflatable balloons were ever viewed as threatening to any nation).
And other companies are pursuing expandable/inflatable satellites—specifically antennas on cubesats.
But back to the job—it’s in Las Vegas, Nevada. The job requires candidates to be US citizens or permanent residents. The main qualification for candidates is “expertise in detailed report writing.” But candidates also need a bachelors or masters of science—so actual writers like me likely aren’t welcome.
For those readers still interested, this looks to be part of a bigger push by Bigelow Aerospace to get its products in orbit. Bigelow intends to attach the BEAM to the International Space Station (ISS). Bigelow is under contract with NASA to get the BEAM attached to the ISS by mid to late 2015. This is all part of Bigelow’s bigger plan to populate the orbits with space stations made of inflatable modules. Bigelow’s inflatable modules don’t look anything like bouncy castles—but you never know with capitalism.