Want to be an astronaut? Now is a good time to get your resume together, sort out your references and decide whether you have the right stuff to join NASA’s elite corps of space travelers. You don’t necessarily have to be a rocket scientist (though it could be a substantial help), but you don’t necessarily have to be a pilot or bring military experience.
There are few things you do have to have, though.
The requirements for Astronaut Candidates are a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in engineering, biological science, physical science, or mathematics. Quality of academic preparation is important. Degree must be followed by at least 3 years of related, progressively responsible, professional experience or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft. An advanced degree is desirable and may be substituted for
experience as follows: master’s degree = 1 year of experience, doctoral degree = 3 years of experience. Teaching experience, including experience at the K – 12 levels, is considered to be qualifying experience for the Astronaut Candidate position; therefore, educators are encouraged to apply.
Additional requirements include the ability to pass the NASA long-duration space flight physical, which includes the following specific requirements: Distant and near visual acuity must be correctable to 20/20 in each eye, blood pressure not to exceed 140/90 measured in a sitting position, and the candidate must have a standing height between 62 and 75 inches.
Applicants for the Astronaut Candidate Program must meet the basic education requirements for NASA engineering and scientific positions, specifically, successful completion of standard professional curriculum in an accredited college or university leading to at least a bachelor’s degree with major study in an appropriate field of engineering, biological science, physical science, or mathematics. The following degree fields, while related to engineering and the sciences, are not considered qualifying: degrees in technology (engineering technology, aviation technology, medical technology, etc.); degrees in psychology (except for clinical psychology, physiological psychology, or experimental psychology, which are qualifying); degrees in nursing; degrees in exercise physiology or similar fields; degrees in social sciences (geography, anthropology, archaeology, etc.); and degrees in aviation, aviation management or similar fields.
Applications for the next astronaut class open on Dec. 14! Visit http://www.nasa.gov/astronauts/ for more information and the requirements.