In preparation for the agency’s journey to Mars, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) announced it will soon begin accepting applications for the next class of astronaut candidates. With more human spacecraft in development in the United States today than at any other time in history, future astronauts will launch once again from the Space Coast of Florida on American-made commercial spacecraft, and carry out deep-space exploration missions that will advance a future human mission to Mars.
The agency will accept applications from Dec. 14 through mid-February and expects to announce candidates selected in mid-2017. Applications for consideration as a NASA Astronaut will be accepted at www.usajobs.gov.
“This next group of American space explorers will inspire the Mars generation to reach for new heights, and help us realize the goal of putting boot prints on the Red Planet,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “Those selected for this service will fly on U.S. made spacecraft from American soil, advance critical science and research aboard the International Space Station, and help push the boundaries of technology in the proving ground of deep space.”
The next class of astronauts may apparently fly on any of four different U.S. vessels during their careers: the International Space Station, two commercial crew spacecraft currently in development by U.S. companies, and NASA’s Orion deep-space exploration vehicle.
As for what you’ll need to apply, a statement from the Administration explains, ‘Astronaut candidates must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics. An advanced degree is desirable. Candidates also must have at least three 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.’
For more information about a career as a NASA astronaut, and application requirements, visit www.nasa.gov/astronauts.