When applying for a new job, there are few more impressive accomplishments you could list on your resume than “astronaut.” Sure, brain surgeon is damned impressive. Navy SEAL, unquestionably awesome. But astronaut is the only one that tells people, “I’ve been to space, dude.” So it’s understandable that former NASA engineer Jose Hernandez wanted to list “astronaut” as his profession on the ballot in his race for U.S. Congress in California. And now, despite the efforts of his opponents on the other side of the aisle, he’ll be able to do just that.
According to the L.A. Times, Hernandez wants to list his occupation as “astronaut/scientist/engineer.” Given that Hernandez flew on the space shuttle Discovery’s STS-128 mission in 2009, you’d think that claim would be pretty clear cut. If it walks like an astronaut, talks like an astronaut, and gets launched into the final frontier on a pillar of flame like an astronaut… Not so, claimed Republicans, who argued that Hernandez shouldn’t be allowed to call himself an astronaut since he left NASA in 2011 to work at a technology company.