Want to be an astronaut? NASA is hiring!
They said to shoot for the moon, and the time to apply has come. On March 2, 2020, NASA began accepting applications for its next class of astronauts for trips to the moon and the International Space Station.
U.S. citizens can apply here until the deadline on March 31, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. The salary ranges from $104,898 to $161,141 per year, and (for obvious reasons) extensive travel is required. Though the hiring process takes a while, NASA plans to have its final selections for astronaut candidates in mid-2021. The agency hasn’t given word yet on the number of people who will be chosen, but you can bet that the competition will be cutthroat. During the last selection in 2017, the agency only picked 12 out of a total of 18,300 applicants. Of those selected, 11 graduated and became eligible for spaceflight earlier this year.
The qualifications are extensive to say the least, and those selected typically exceed the basics. NASA asks that applicants meet at least one of the following education requirements to be considered for the position:
Hold a master’s degree in a STEM field, which could include engineering, computer science, biological science, physical science, or mathematics.
Have a completed doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathic medicine degree.
Have two years of work toward a STEM Ph.D. program.
By June 2021, have completed a nationally or internationally recognized Test Pilot School program. Additionally, if Test Pilot School is the only advanced technical degree you have, NASA requires that you also have a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field.
In addition to the minimum educational qualifications, NASA has specialized experience requirements that must be met in order to be considered. This includes having at least 1,000 hours of experience as a pilot-in-command of a high-performance jet aircraft, or having two years of „progressively responsible“ work in your specialized STEM field.