NASA teams up with Mumsnet to send mother and baby into space
NASA and the European Space Agency have partnered with Mumsnet Jobs to launch a Europe-wide search to find the perfect mother-and-baby team to venture into space
Press release: 1 April 2016
Anticipating that humankind will, at some point, require an alternative habitable planet, NASA has charged Mumsnet with finding mothers and babes-in-arms who are willing to undertake a six-month extraterrestrial mission designed to test the viability of space travel for infants.
The project follows Mumsnet's successful recruitment of spies for MI6 earlier this year.
Prospective candidates will be required to execute a series of tasks during the mission, which will include feeding in a gravity-free environment, space-walking with a baby in a papoose (provided), and reverse-docking into a tight space on the International Space Station.
The successful candidate will also conduct a set of zero-gravity experiments in situ. Tests will be carried out to establish the feasibility of catching vomit, tackling a poonami and managing the detritus of weaning without disabling the spacecraft's delicate instruments.
The ISS is currently undergoing a refit to incorporate baby-changing facilities, a buggy park and a breastfeeding area, in an effort to gain a Mumsnet Family Friendly award ahead of the mission.
Full training will be given and - other than strong multitasking abilities and a stronger stomach - no specialist skills are required. Whilst in space it is anticipated that the successful candidate will give the space station a good tidy and will introduce some proper home cooking in place of all that powdered meals-in-a-bag nonsense.
Commander Olaf Priol, Head of Communications at the International Space Station, said: "In the wake of Major Tim Peake's enormous popularity, we hope to continue to bust space boredom by sending the first mother-and-baby duo into space. We're delighted to be working with Mumsnet to find the ideal maternaut-and-baby team."
Justine Roberts, Mumsnet founder, said: "The popularity of recent films such as Gravity and The Martian - not to mention the John Lewis Christmas ad, of course - means that awareness of extraterrestrial opportunities among mothers is currently high. Given the impressive response to our on-site drive to recruit spies for MI6, we don't anticipate any difficulties in sourcing Mumsnetters keen to tackle the challenges of space travel with a baby in tow."
Update 12pm, 1 April: Unfortunately we've had to close applications early ;-)
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