spaceSpace and Physics

NASA Is Looking For Its Next Astronaut Class. Have You Got What It Takes?


Dr. Alfredo Carpineti

Senior Staff Writer & Space Correspondent

clockFeb 12 2020, 17:53 UTC

The 11 strong NASA's 2020 class of astronauts photographed with two Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronauts, selected in 2017. From left Kayla Barron, Zena Cardman, Raja Chari, Matthew Dominick, Bob Hines, Warren Hoburg, Jonny Kim, Joshua Kutryk (CSA), Jasmin Moghbeli, Loral O’Hara, Jessica Watkins. Jennifer Sidey-Gibbons (CSA), and Frank Rubio. NASA

Would you like to be part of the next giant leap for humankind? Well, your chance is coming up next month: NASA will be accepting new applications to become an astronaut for the Artemis missions, which will see mankind return to the Moon, as well as what might come after.

Here are the requirements. You need to be an American citizen (so, I’m out). You need to have a master's degree in a STEM discipline, so from biology to math to engineering, you all have a shot. Lacking a masters in any of those subjects, it is not an insurmountable barrier as long as you’re either doing a PhD in STEM, you are a medical doctor, or you are or going to be a certified pilot.


On top of that, you need two years of professional experience or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in a jet aircraft. If you tick those boxes, you can apply between March 2 and March 31. You will have to complete a two-hour online assessment and those selected must pass the NASA long-duration spaceflight physical.

“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 Bridenstine said in a statement. “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 to takes to apply beginning March 2.”

The new class of astronauts are expected to be selected in mid-2021 to begin training. The astronauts will likely participate in missions to low-Earth orbit on the International Space Station, as well as missions to return humans to the Moon post-2024. In preparation for the more challenging exploration of Mars, NASA plans to establish sustainable exploration of our natural satellite by the end of the decade.

NASA's latest class of 11 new astronauts was announced just last month, with a total of 48 active astronauts in its rooster. 

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