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Space & Astronomy

NASA astronaut quits halfway through training

By T.K. Randall
August 29, 2018 · Comment icon 19 comments

Kulin cited 'personal reasons' for leaving. Image Credit: NASA
For the first time in 50 years, an astronaut has voluntarily stepped down in the middle of the training program.
For most people, being accepted in to NASA's astronaut training program is a dream come true, especially given the odds of being picked from the pool of over 18,000 applicants.

Astronaut candidate Robb Kulin however surprised everyone when he recently stepped down approximately halfway through the program at Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The 34-year-old, who had been selected as one of 12 candidates, had worked as a senior manager at SpaceX and was looking forward to flying one of the vehicles that he had personally helped design.
Having grown up in Alaska, he had also previously worked as a fisherman and ice driller.

According to NASA, he cited 'personal reasons' for stepping down from the program.

It is the first time any NASA astronaut candidate has quit training since 1968.

Source: | Comments (19)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #10 Posted by pallidin 6 years ago
NASA's application omitted: "Are you a felon currently in hiding?"
Comment icon #11 Posted by Antnanna 6 years ago
A woman?
Comment icon #12 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 6 years ago
Nope. Astronauts are selected and trained in groups. An individual leaving the group won't be replaced, there will just be one less in group 22. It will be several years before NASA selects another group (group 21 were selected in 2013).
Comment icon #13 Posted by MissJatti 6 years ago
I bet the MiB has got something to do with his departure, because the man in question knows something that he shouldn't 
Comment icon #14 Posted by freetoroam 6 years ago
  Are you kidding or serious? 
Comment icon #15 Posted by Astra. 6 years ago
Comment icon #16 Posted by MissJatti 6 years ago
I was kidding seriously 
Comment icon #17 Posted by Occams Razor 6 years ago
Hmmm... well, from a cynical point of view he may have known his Spacex spacecraft design wasn't fit for purpose and didn't want to fly in it. Maybe he had to stay in the program for as long as he did to give the impression all was well.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 6 years ago
Your post is poorly thought out and devoid of any kind of logic. Some point for you to ponder... If he felt that the SpaceX design was not fit for purpose why leave SpaceX and join NASA in the first place? SpaceX won't have the final say on whether the spacecraft design is fit for purpose, NASA will. The spacecraft will be flown on an un-crewed test flight before it is flown with any astronauts on board. The spacecraft will have a further crewed test flight before it is declared operational. As an astronaut that is still only half way through his training he is several years away from being gi... [More]
Comment icon #19 Posted by Occams Razor 6 years ago
Your post is poorly thought out and devoid of any kind of logic. Maybe he just wanted to say he made it as a NASA astronaut. Maybe he was assured the flaws he highlighted would be sorted out well before he had to fly in it... and then found he was lied to. Exposing a bag of cheese and onion crisps and a few toilet rolls to the vacuum of space isn't quite so bad for PR as doing the same to astronauts. Would you stay in a program that had a 33% chance of killing you?

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