How to become an astronaut?

We are often very familiar with the image of astronauts working in space. However, there is one truth that few people notice: most of their career is spent on training and ground missions.

To be able to carry out space missions is not an easy thing. And if you’ve ever dreamed of becoming an astronaut, you know that it’s not an overnight thing. It takes years of training and ground missions for someone to be experienced enough for a space mission. Many of them were unable to fly even once and parted with the dream forever. The percentage of candidates who pass the training to become a real astronaut is very meager.

So, how arduous is the path to becoming an astronaut? Here, we will introduce how NASA selects astronauts for their missions.

How to become an astronaut?
Becoming an astronaut is not an overnight thing.

The first step to becoming an astronaut is that you must be trained to gain experience in related fields. Candidates are divided into two categories: military and civilian candidates. Military candidates will apply for a job at their service unit. Each unit will have its own process. Meanwhile, civilian applicants apply directly to NASA.

In terms of education, NASA wants its astronauts to have at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering, biological sciences, physics, or mathematics. Some other exceptions may be accepted such as geography or aviation management. Many NASA astronauts have master’s degrees, some are already doing postdoctoral research in their fields.

In terms of work experience, 3 years is the minimum that NASA requires their applicants to work in the relevant area of expertise. A military candidate is preferred in terms of experience. Meanwhile, if they are a jet pilot, they must achieve at least 1000 flight hours. Holders of a master’s or doctoral degree are entitled to a reduced number of years of experience required.

How to become an astronaut?
Health check for astronauts.

The next round of records is a health check. These are the minimum requirements:

The ultimate purpose of the physical examination is to assess whether you are in the best shape for emergencies like a return to Earth or an emergency in orbit.

In addition to the status test, there will be a psychological test by interview. Candidates must have both physical and psychological stability to be selected . NASA also wants to exploit candidates who are flexible, have good teamwork skills and, importantly, a passion for discovery.

Passing the selection round doesn’t mean you’re ready to be an astronaut. The road to the first flight is still very difficult. You will be trained for at least 2 years. The training course will provide basic knowledge about the International Space Station ISS and space travel.

How to become an astronaut?
Students practice with a zero-gravity environment simulator.

Skill subjects include: professional diving, survival skills, swimming . You will be exposed to high and low barometric pressure, participating in exercises that simulate a zero gravity environment. Besides, there are training courses in communication, Russian and a few other subjects.

Even after graduating, many cadets were unable to make their first flight for many years. They have to keep practicing with simulator missions. NASA lab simulation walks. The first bloody experiences will be formed during this time.

Future astronauts will be sent to specialized facilities to develop their own skills. For example, a course with a Canadian partner just to control a robotic arm in space. In addition, during the training process, they had to maintain a certain number of flight hours with the T-38 aircraft each month.

How to become an astronaut?
Underwater exercises at NASA’s training center.

It usually takes several years to wait for the first flight. They will have to read all the manuals of the actual devices. Use them in the emulator. These trainings take place all over the world. They have to practice coordination skills with their team.

NASA uses computer systems and even physical spaces to set up flight simulators. Future astronauts must practice how to prepare meals, organize their belongings, move them through space, manage waste, use cameras and experiment with their expertise.

With that said, it took a couple of years to get to the first flight. If a cadet successfully completes the simulation training and practice, he will fly. Besides, the professional element is also constantly being trained. Flights on the International Space Station (ISS) last an average of 6 months. Others last up to 1 year. Most of the time astronauts spend on science missions. Therefore, they also need to have a great passion for science in this particular environment .

Recently, NASA posted the application online. Applicants will have until March 31 to submit their applications, and should meet the following criteria:

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