The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is looking for Astronaut Candidates. The job posting is open to “all qualified U.S. citizens” but it is closing soon. The job was announced back in December, where it clearly shows the people at NASA have a sense of humor with their Star Wars themed job article. All jokes about the Force aside, the job search is legitimate and the detailed employment post can be found on USAJobs.gov, where NASA goes into greater detail on what they are looking for in their newest recruits.
The basic requirements are for candidates to have a Bachelor’s degree in a science, engineering, or mathematics field and be able to pass an astronaut physical. Oddly enough, degrees in technology are not being considered as qualified. NASA is looking for astronauts who may fly on four different missions in their time in space; “the International Space Station (ISS), two new commercial spacecraft being built by U.S. companies, and NASA’s Orion deep-space exploration vehicle.” No word on which companies are building the commercial spacecraft.
While the applications close on February 18, 2016, the candidates selection process will take a bit longer. Chosen applicants will not be announced until the spring of 2017 with training to begin that fall, when candidates will arrive at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The training process will last approximately two years, and candidates must be able to pass a swimming test within their first month. The job description does mention that since astronauts will most likely be aboard the ISS, that learning Russian language skills is a must. Anyone who thinks they might be a serious candidate could start brushing up on their Russian phrases now.
It is fun to see a job posting like this, open to so many possible applicants. It inspires a little bit of the child within, who wanted to go into space someday. Probably one of the best lines in the entire post is, “Frequent travel may be required.” That’s an understatement! Many would say the extreme travel is the main reason for joining – to go where few have gone before. “NASA Astronaut”, what a title to have on your resume.