Dear Mr. Bolden,
I am writing with regard to the position of Flight Engineer on Mission 37 of the Soyuz Spacecraft to the International Space Station in September.
I understand that at this time there are no vacancies within the flight crew. I would however like to advance my candidacy for the mission nonetheless. I am certain that in light of my qualities and above all my passion for adventure, you will see the advantages of displacing one of the currently scheduled crew members to create a space. Perhaps Michael Hopkins could sit this one out. He’s an American so the Russians should be fine with this. From his online bio, he seems like a good sport, and would likely bow out gracefully in support of the change.
It’s true that there would be the question of my physical aptitude for such a strenuous mission. I can assure you that I am in excellent health and free of any communicable disease. I do not drool, slouch nor possess a gammy leg. I have no facial tics that I am aware of, nor do I suffer from any of the following; psoriasis, hepatitis, gout, asthma, seborrheic dermatitis, dengue fever or dropsy. Although I am myopic, I am quite prepared to furnish my own corrective eyewear. I am completely ambulatory.
While I do lack advanced degrees of scientific learning from any accredited or unaccredited institution, I do have a solid understanding of science. I am an avid reader of science fiction, but assure you that I would defer any application of fictional principles in a real world context to the judgement of my superior officer.
Of a thoughtful constitution and not easily given to panic, under stressful conditions I can be expected to respond to stressors such as face huggers and ear-seekers in a calmly considered, professional and industry-compliant manner.
Nor will space food pose any difficulty for me. I am very flexible with my diet and will adapt easily to the in-flight fare. Is it too late to request kosher meals? (Not a deal breaker) I have good bone density.
I do want to make clear at the outset that my interest and intention regarding this has absolutely nothing to do with the presence of Karen L. Nyberg in the team. She is an exemplary flight officer with many years experience and a consummate professional. It would be my honour to serve alongside her in the spirit of scientific enquiry and the service of humanity. As we are close in age and share many personal interests, I am convinced that our working relationship would be fruitful and efficient.
Given the compressed timeline between now and the launch in September, there will obviously be little time for simulations and other types of testing. In lieu of credentials, experience or references I offer my heartfelt assurances that I possess the aptitude and capacity to take on this challenge.
Alas, there is only so much I can convey through an impersonal letter. While it’s true that I may not have come up through the customary channels, had any pertinent training, relevant experience, proven myself in any similar past engagement, studied the requisite texts or even possess United States citizenship, I do possess the passion, drive and strong personal skills that I feel more than make up for any other perceived shortcoming. If you could see your way clear to having me in for an interview, I am absolutely certain that, in person, I would not only win you over and persuade you to give me a spot on the mission, but that Michael Hopkins and myself would become amiable acquaintances despite my having displaced him this time around.
I offer my sincerest and grateful appreciation for your having taken the time to read my request. I look forward to hearing from you soon and wish you and all the staff and crew at NASA all the best in your most important of efforts.