HOUSTON – As NASA works on it’s biggest endeavor yet, it is also preparing the workforce who will help make these missions happen. NASA is recruiting its “Artemis Generation” astronauts who will be tasked with taking humans to the moon, Mars and beyond. NASA will start accepting applications March 2 until March 31. Would you want to be an astronaut?
What are the job requirements?
“We’re looking for well-rounded individuals, obviously, they have to come from a math, science, engineering...one of the science disciplines. Beyond that, we’re looking for good people skills, good teamwork skills, leadership and followership,” said Anne Roemer, manager for NASA’s Astronaut Selection Program.
Each candidate must be a U.S. citizen and at least a Master’s degree in a STEM field, including engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science, or mathematics from an accredited institution. The requirement for the master’s degree can also be met by:
-Two years (36 semester hours or 54 quarter hours) of work toward a Ph.D. program in a related science, technology, engineering or math field
-A completed doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathic medicine degree
-Completion (or current enrollment that will result in completion by June 2021) of a nationally recognized test pilot school program
Candidates also must have at least two years of related, progressively responsible, professional experience, or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft.
Astronaut candidates must pass the NASA long-duration spaceflight physical. As part of the application process, applicants will, for the first time, be required to take an online assessment that will require up to two hours to complete.
You can apply to #BeAnAstronaut on the USAJobs website which is the federal government’s official one-stop source for federal jobs and employment.
How has NASA historically selected Astronauts?
Since the 1960s, NASA has selected 350 people to train as astronaut candidates for its missions. The missions become more and more challenging and so, NASA is very selective about who to choose. With 48 astronauts presently in their active astronaut corps, NASA will need to grow this group to be able to crew a spacecraft bound for multiple destinations and further their goals to go deeper and further into space as part of Artemis and beyond.
“We’re celebrating our 20th year of continuous presence aboard the International Space Station in low-Earth orbit this year, and we’re on the verge of sending the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridentstine said. “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 takes to apply beginning March 2.”
What happens next?
The new class of Artemis astronauts would be announced in the early summer of 2021, according to Roemer. According to NASA, after completing training, the new astronauts could launch on American rockets and spacecraft developed for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to live and work aboard the International Space Station, 250 miles above Earth, where they will take part in experiments that benefit life at home and prepare us for more distant exploration.
They may also launch on NASA’s powerful new Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft, docking the spacecraft at the Gateway in lunar orbit before taking a new human landing system to the Moon’s surface. After returning humans to the Moon in 2024, NASA plans to establish sustainable lunar exploration by 2028. Gaining new experiences on and around the Moon will prepare NASA to send the first humans to Mars in the mid-2030s, according to NASA.
For more information about a career as a NASA astronaut and application requirements, visit the NASA website.