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Want to Become an Astronaut? You Might Be More Qualified Than You Think

Want to Become an Astronaut? You Might Be More Qualified Than You Think

Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to become a NASA Astronaut? We’re accepting applications starting March 2, and we’re encouraging all eligible Americans to apply by March 31! 

It’s an incredible time in human spaceflight to be an astronaut. With Artemis, our sights are set on the Moon – to stay – by utilizing sustainable lunar missions, and you could be one of the humans on the surface! During their careers, this next class of astronauts may also fly on any of four different U.S. spacecraft: the International Space Station, Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon and our Orion deep-space exploration vehicle; They will be at the cutting edge of a new era in human exploration. 

So, still interesting in joining our ranks as an Artemis generation astronaut? Here are a few things to note.

Myths about becoming an astronaut:

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MYTH: All astronauts have piloting experience.

FACT: You don’t need to be a pilot to be an astronaut. Flying experience is not a requirement, but could be beneficial to have.

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MYTH: All astronauts have perfect vision.

FACT: It’s okay if you don’t have 20/20 vision. As of September 2007, corrective surgical procedures of the eye (PRK and LASIK), are now allowed, providing at least 1 year has passed since the date of the procedure with no permanent adverse after effects.

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MYTH: All astronauts have advanced degrees like, a PhD.

FACT: While a Master’s degree from an accredited university is necessary, the requirement can also be met with the completion (or current enrollment that will result in completion by June 2021) of a nationally recognized test pilot school program.

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MYTH: Astronauts are required to have military experience in order to be selected.

FACT: Military experience is not required to become an astronaut.

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MYTH: You have to be a certain age in order to be an astronaut.

FACT: There are no age restrictions. Astronaut candidates selected in the past have ranged between the ages of 26 and 46, with the average age being 34.

Okay, but what are the requirements?

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The basic requirements to apply include United States citizenship and 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.

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Applications for our next Artemis astronaut class open on March 2! Shoot for the stars and visit: https://www.nasa.gov/astronauts

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com 

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