Pre-flight NASA Interview with Pam Melroy: how did you find out about becoming an astronaut?
Do you have a story about how you were selected, or how you found out that you were selected for an astronaut?
Well, it’s funny: I had spent so much of my life thinking about that moment when I was going to get that phone call, and what that was going to be like. I had an image in my head. The image was that I would be sitting in my kitchen, and I’d be married and I would have a great job that I really loved, and I’d get this phone call, and I would have friends and family to share it with, and that it would just be an incredibly exciting moment. Doggone it if it didn’t happen exactly that way! That is exactly how it happened. I was always sort of picturing it in the evening, but when the phone rang, as I was sitting there, finishing up breakfast, I was kind of panicky. I’m like, “Whoop! Am I late to work? Who in the heck would be calling me at quarter to seven in the morning?” And, of course, I was in California, so it was earlier than in Houston. And so, when I answered the phone and realized that it was Dave Leestma on the other end, my heart started to pound. He said, “We’d like you to come to Houston and be an astronaut.” And, I said, “I hope that I can live up to this honor.” And, he said, “Oh, don’t start that already!” He said, “Don’t get there already. You’re going to put so much pressure on yourself; don’t start now!” He said, “Just enjoy it for now.” That made me laugh. But, I hung up the phone, and I wasn’t supposed to tell anybody. But, of course, everybody in my squadron knew that I was waiting for the phone call. I showed up for a meeting, half an hour later, and at the moment I walked in the door, I didn’t say anything. No, I never said a word; I wasn’t planning on telling everybody. And everybody in the room jumped up and screamed, “You got in! You got in!” “Like, how can you tell?” They were, like, “We could tell! You look like a lamp, turned on!” It was pretty funny. I said, “Well, I can’t tell you.” They said, “We, we know already.”
Source: NASA web site