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Honors College graduate applies to become mock astronaut

Bartley participated in a leopard relocation in South Africa in 2008.

Honors College scholars at WKU have been known to travel to the edges of the earth, including China, India, England, France, Australia, among dozens of other locations around the globe. But one Honors College graduate has interests out of this world—literally.

Meredith Bartley, a 2009 graduate of the Honors College at WKU with a degree in biology, applied to become a “mock astronaut” for four months in Hawaii, beginning early next year. The Hawaii Space Exploration Analogue & Simulation is conducting a study on how best to feed astronauts during a long space exploration to Mars.

Bartley, a Crestwood, Ky. native, said a friend posted the opportunity online, and she became excited immediately.

“Something in this article just took a hold of me and convinced me that I needed to at least try to be involved,” she said. “I thought I’d be perfect for the simulation, but more importantly, it’d also be perfect for me.”

If she is selected, Bartley will be one of six volunteers to live inside a faux space capsule, designed to replicate living and working conditions of astronauts on a real mission. The study aims to determine whether crew-cooked or pre-prepared meals serve the crew better nutritionally, financially, and with regard to time.

Bartley said the idea of taking process in helping humans get to Mars excited her most.

“The moon landing was such a pivotal moment in American history,” she said. “I’d love to be involved in the next chapter.”

In order to share her opinions and insights about her possible upcoming adventure (and hopefully instill an interest in others for her passion of space exploration), Bartley created a blog she will update over the next year. Follow her here: http://meridithonmars.blogspot.com/

One Response to “Honors College graduate applies to become mock astronaut”

  1. Meridith B. says:

    Update! I’ve made it to the next round! They’ve narrowed the applicant pool from 700 to 150.

    “At this point, you are one of the candidates for a potential
    education/journalism/outreach/art/social-media position on the crew.”

    Wish me luck!

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