Mission Aborted: Why Did Astronaut Candidate Robb Kulin Quit Half Way Through His NASA Training?

Thursday, 30 August 2018 - 1:23PM
Space
Thursday, 30 August 2018 - 1:23PM
Mission Aborted: Why Did Astronaut Candidate Robb Kulin Quit Half Way Through His NASA Training?
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Image Credit: NASA/JSC
NASA astronaut training is a very exclusive club to get in to. CBS News reports that there were a record 18,300 applicants last summer for the program, of which only 12 made the final cut. One of those dozen candidates was Robb Kulin, whom was working as a SpaceX senior manager at the time that he was selected. According to recent reports, Kulin has chosen to resign from the program before completing his training, which is something that an in-training astronaut has not done since 1968.



NASA representative told CBS News that 34-year-old Kulin's departure from the program is effective on Friday, but could not legally say why the would-be astronaut decided to opt out of the program. Kullin has not been active on either his Twitter or Instagram accounts since May, which was just before the final list of candidates for the NASA training program was announced. Until he or someone close to him releases a statement, we won't know what the personal reasons were that made him give up the extremely rare opportunity. 

The last time something like this happened was 50 years ago. According to Science Alert, scientist Brian T O'Leary resigned from NASA after a proposed manned mission to Mars was cancelled. O'Leary cited a "lack of prospects for a spaceflight" as his reason for leaving. He later joined the staff at Cornell University as a research associate and assistant professor of astronomy. Time will tell where Kulin's path takes him next, but for now his 11 colleagues will go on without him.
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