Need some space? NASA has got the job for you

Written By: Nikhil Pandey WION Web Team
Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America Published: Feb 12, 2020, 04.39 PM(IST)

File photo: NASA's 22nd class of astronauts, the "Turtles," poses with NASA officals and Texas politicians at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, on Friday, January 10, 2020. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

350 people have been selected by NASA since the 1960s to train as astronaut candidates for arduous missions in the name of space exploration. 

American astronauts are to ascend to the International Space Station – with an eye toward the Moon and Mars – as NASA announced that applications are being accepted from March 2 to 31 for the next class of Artemis Generation astronauts. Finalisation of candidates is to be completed by the middle of 2021.

Also read: Eyeing Moon, NASA hosts first public astronaut graduation ceremony

350 people have been selected by NASA since the 1960s to train as astronaut candidates for arduous missions in the name of space exploration. 

Their current astronaut corp has 48 souls, with room for more as expeditions involving multiple destinations that will propel exploration forward as part of Artemis missions and beyond.

Jim Bridenstine, NASA Administrator stated that they were celebrating 20 years of continuous presence aboard the International Space Station in low-Earth orbit as of 2020 and are on the verge of sending the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024.

“For the handful of highly talented women and men we will hire to join our diverse astronaut corps, it’s an incredible time in human spaceflight to be an astronaut. We’re asking all eligible Americans if they have what it to takes to apply beginning March 2,” he added.

Citizenship of the United States of America and a Master's Degree in a STEM field constitutes the basic requirements to apply. Fields such as engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science, or mathematics, from an accredited institution, will be considered.

Master's Degree requirements can also be met by fulfilling any one of the below-mentioned criteria: 

1: Two years (36 semester hours or 54 quarter hours) of work toward a PhD program in related science, technology, engineering or math field;

2: A completed doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathic medicine degree;

3: Completion (or current enrollment that will result in completion by June 2021) of a nationally recognized test pilot school program.


Candidates must also possess at least 2 years of related and/or progressively responsible professional experience OR at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft. Passing the NASA long-duration spaceflight physical is a must for Astronaut candidates.

For the first time as a part of the application process, applicants will be required to take an online assessment which will take around 2 hours to complete.

The new astronauts, upon completion of training, could launch on American rockets and spacecraft developed for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to live and work aboard the International Space Station. 

The ISS is situated 250 miles above Earth, where they will take part in experiments that benefit life at home and prepare for more distant exploration.

An alternative to working at the International Space Station could be a launch from NASA’s powerful new Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft. The spacecraft will be docked at the Gateway in lunar orbit before taking a new human landing system to the Moon’s surface. 

NASA plans on returning humans to the moon by 2024, after which plans are being made to establish sustainable lunar exploration by 2028. Experience and knowledge gained on and around the moon will allow NASA to send the first humans to Mars, a feat they plan to achieve by mid-2030s.

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