Wanna go to Mars? Of course you do. Forgive me if I’m generalizing here, but everyone at some point in their lives has wanted to be an astronaut. Or at least take a quick trip to the moon or to Mars. Am I right or am I right?
Well, prepare yourself, people. The time is now, and the person might be you. NASA is gearing up to accept applications from people like yourself, who hope to join the ranks of the next generation of astronauts.
The lucky, “NASA-chosen ones” will undergo two years of astronaut training, and may travel in new spacecraft to destinations previously untouched by human beings. And well if that isn’t reason enough, astronauts can expect to make between $66,026 and $158,700 a year, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
Before you get emotionally invested, however, let’s remember—to date, NASA has only trained 338 astronauts since the start of manned spaceflight. So if I were you, I wouldn’t hold my breath.
So what are the requirements? They’re actually not too bad. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree, or an advanced degree in a STEM field (engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics). You must have at least three years of “relative professional experience” in your field, or have over 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft. You need 20/20 vision (although, you can have corrective surgery if your eyes aren’t up to par), and you must be between 5-foot-2 and 6-foot-3 in height.
NASA will begin accepting application starting on December 14 with the cut-off date set for mid-February 2016. But don’t watch your email or wait by the phone, NASA doesn’t expect to make decisions until mid-2017.
If you are selected, you’ll be traveling in style aboard the commercially-built Boeing Starliner and Crew Dragon spacecraft. Your destinations will be remarkable, including a planned trip to cislunar space, a mission to Mars, and potentially others.
Be prepared, though, in addition to the application, future astronauts will be psychologically challenged way more than previous astronauts ever were, because if that planned mission to Mars actually happens, astronauts will be away from Earth for a minimum of 1,100 days. Do the math and that’s over 3 years! Is it worth it? Probably, yes.
Interested? Here’s where you can apply come December 14: http://www.usajobs.gov
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense