Austin W. Boyd est un ancien pilote de l'US Navy (plus de 2700 heures de vol), ingénieur en systèmes spatiaux et aussi un écrivain réputé pour ses romans ''TechnoThrillers Spatiaux''.
Il travaille en parallèle comme responsable dans une société d'ingénierie.
En 1994, il se présente comme candidat astronaute pour le groupe 15 de la NASA. Il fait partie des derniers sélectionnables mais ne sera pas sélectionné.
Il vient nous parler de sa motivation d'avoir voulu être astronaute et pourquoi l'espace le fascine.
En tant qu'auteur, il a un site internet : http://www.austinboyd.com/
Interview réalisée en 2010
Q : Why have you decide to become candidate for NASA astronaut selection ?
A : I chose to try for astronaut because, when I was 12 years old, I felt a very strong "calling" to do something to make a difference.
I felt that being an astronaut was where I was called to serve in life.
I spent 32 years doing everything I could to achieve that selection, from age 12 until age 44.
I wanted to go to space, yes, but even more wanted to be part of that astronaut team at NASA.
Q : What is your job and why have choose to do it ?
A : I am currently in a job as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a small engineering and design company in Huntsville, AL.
I didn't choose that job... the Board of Directors chose me... and it's the most challenging and fun job I've ever held.
I lead 68 people in the design and manufacture of many different kinds of products.
You can learn more about my work at http://www.inergi.com/
Q : I suppose you would like to go in space. But why ?
A : I wanted to go to space, as I said above, to make a difference.
My spaceflight goal was to serve on the International Space Station, and to do ExtraVehicular Activities (EVA).
My dream was to be part of a mission to Mars, to set foot on another planet.
Q : Did you think it's important for the mankind to have a step in space, to send man in space and why ?
A : I do think it is important for mankind to go to space.
There are many reasons, but perhaps the most important is that we must always have a view of life that goes beyond ourselves.
The challenge of climbing a mountain, of climbing away from the earth in a plane, or climbing into orbit to learn more, see new horizons, is important to the human race.
We are, for the most part, a creation that seeks to know more about our world and to accomplish things.
Spaceflight beckons us to new vistas to learn and explore. That's important to society.
Also, there is a financial benefit. Pushing the limits of space brings business and research benefit to our societies.
Q : What represent for you Yuri Gagarin ?
A : Yuri Gagarin represents a first step into space.
I'm happy for the Russian people that he made it there first.
And I am proud for the American people that we reached the moon first.
But many forget that it's the German people who made both flights possible... German engineers in Russia and in the United States.
You might say that the Germans got there first, in partnership with all of the rest of us.
Q : Which memory(ies) have you of Apollo 11 ?
A : I recall Apollo 11 as a young man, watching the Moon landing on the television.
I was 3 years into my quest to get into the astronaut program and did not miss anything of the space program.
Apollo 11 also has a special place in my heart because it represents the culmination of a national dream, accomplishing what we set out to do.
I believe in setting goals, and this was a big one.
Q : What is / will be your most incredible space dream ?
A : My space dream ? I won't select for the astronaut program... I am too old now at 56 years of age.
But I have a dream that perhaps I'll live to see a trip to space.
I am an author.
Perhaps I'll be asked to go, perhaps I'll be able to pay to go.
But whether I go or not, I feel that I've accomplished my big dream, to make a difference.
When I retired from the United States Navy and had to stop my search for selection to the astronaut program, I began writing about space.
I was blessed to sell three novels about a trip to Mars, and in those three books, have seen their impact on many people's lives.
People tell me every day that they understand the space business better, appreciate even more the sacrifice made by those who have flown.
So, I made a difference in an unexpected way.
My novels... The Evidence, The Proof, and The Return... are still out there, changing lives.
After those were published, I've written another three novels, and I have a new focus in life as an author.
I learned an important lesson in my space quest... that we are all called to a journey, not a destination.
My search to be an astronaut led me to become an author, and through my writing I can impact people's lives.
I am still on my journey.