Luck is something you can’t rely on, yet when it comes about it’s how you use it that can make all the difference. Luck had just shaken my hand and I was given the opportunity to attend a space training and selection course held at NASA. The course was to consist of a number of physical and mental tests where the winner would be selected by a judging panel where Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, was the lead judge. Knowing what I could gain from this selection process was all I needed to commit myself to a rigorous training regime and I had six months to be in the best possible position to be selected to go to space.
As I set about a plan of action, I very soon realised that I had a bit of knowledge with most of the components of the selection program. This wasn’t just from a passion in aviation but more so from all of the preparation and failures with my goal of becoming a pilot with the defence force. During my initial defence application years prior and subsequent appeals, I met with doctors, current fighter pilots, and ex-military instructor pilots to build my knowledge base on everything from the equations of speed-distance-time to how best to withstand high gravitational loading. I had read countless articles, journals, and books on everything from the physics of flight to how best to prepare yourself for military standard fitness. From every appeal and subsequent failure with the defence force, I learnt many things more that I wanted to know in order to better prepare me for the next appeal. All of this knowledge was now at the forefront of my mind and whilst it wasn’t working for me with my defence force pilot application, I was certain it would help me with the selection course for space. If you asked me four years prior that this is where my knowledge from all of my failures would benefit me most I would have told you to stick your head back into the clouds. The only thing I wasn’t prepared for was talking to the media time and time again.