It's 2437 and Earth is graduating to the position of 'Interstellar Civilization' with it's first manned missions to another solar system. Teams across the country (and the world) are all racing to own the first footprints ever planted on extra-solar soil. Scrambling to recruit the best possible candidates for the risky excursion across space, representatives of each team are in steep competition with one another to purchase the services of the best potential colonists.
The voyage requires a different breed of recruit; strong, enduring, and hard to kill. Obviously, several represantitives choose you. After wading through all of the different offers and incentives, two teams stand out as your favorites. The only notable differences you see are in the resumes of the spaceship's architects.
Team 1, taking advantage of the robust funds given by it's wealthier investors, paid for a highly educated engineer to head the mission's organization and execution. 15 years of schooling at Ivy League institutions, multiple advanced degrees in physics and engineering, and high honors all around are just a few of the academic achievements the ship builder in Team 1 has to offer. The rub? He has never worked directly on a spacecraft and this is his first time orchestrating the construction of an actual ship.
The other team could not afford the pay that such credentials command in a free market, so a different approach had to be taken. Instead of stretching resources to bring in an overqualified academic, Team 2 enlisted a man with no academic background aside from a tenuous history at a junior college decades back. In fact, this man, who is trusted with the entirety of a manned mission to another solar system, was a C student and described by many of his instructors as having "attention issues". The appeal of Team 2's head engineer comes in one simple fact: he has spent his entire life as a mechanic on these same ships and the last 15 years successfully overseeing their construction. Now, all things being equal, who do you trust to send you safely out amongst the stars?
"a man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn no other way"