How to Become an Astronaut: 10 Important Prerequisites and requirements
A very competitive and selective is how to become an astronaut. A tough application process pits qualified candidates against one another every year to fill a small number of positions. You can better prepare and plan how you might enter the sector with the essential abilities and experience to become a top candidate by understanding the qualifications for this difficult career path. As we are curious about this topic let’s reveal the details of how to become an astronaut.
Who are astronauts?
An astronaut is a person who participates in a space program and is particularly prepared and outfitted for space travel. NASA, also known as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, has employed astronauts as a component of the US space program since 1959. Any crew member on a NASA spacecraft or member of the NASA Astronaut Corps is referred to as an astronaut by NASA.
Among a wide range of applicants with various backgrounds, NASA chooses astronauts. Now how to become an astronaut as one of them? Only a small number of applicants are chosen by NASA for the rigorous astronaut candidate training program out of the thousands that apply.
Types of astronauts
NASA classifies astronauts into three groups for the inspirants who are searching how to become an astronaut. They consist of:
- Astronaut candidates Applicants for the NASA Astronaut Corps have been chosen and are currently undergoing training at the Johnson Space Center.
- Active astronauts are those who have successfully completed astronaut candidate training and are eligible for flight missions.
- Astronauts in management: Despite working at NASA, astronauts in management are no longer eligible for flight assignments.
Most likely, when you think of an astronaut, you picture someone who explores outer space. But you’ll quickly discover that one of the realities of being an astronaut is that you’ll spend more time on Earth than in space. Future space missions are researched and prepared for by astronauts, who also participate in flight simulations, test new equipment, and assess prototypes. Also, they communicate with astronauts at the Space Station, operate jets, and practice walking underwater while in space.
The working hours and atmosphere for astronauts might be very different.
What does a space traveler do when they are on Earth? At the Astronaut Corps at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, they have a typical weekday where they might conduct experiments or prepare for their upcoming trip.
All NASA astronauts work aboard the International Space Station for a period of time prior to special missions. This station is a facility that continuously circles our planet at a height of 240 miles. Over the previous 20 years, astronauts have performed more than 3,000 scientific experiments and achieved around 20 discoveries at the Space Station. Important discoveries about cancer, asthma, heart illness, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and others are among these.
They’ve learned how to grow food under lower gravity and how to treat muscle atrophy.
How to become an Astronaut: Requirements
As NASA’s missions and aims have changed, so have the astronaut requirements. Currently, candidates need to fulfill the following requirements in order to be considered for an astronaut position:
- Have U.S. citizenship
- Possess a master’s degree* from an approved institution in a STEM subject, such as engineering, biology, physics, computer science, or mathematics.
- Possess a jet pilot with at least 1,000 hours of command experience on a jet aircraft.
- Possess the ability to pass the NASA long-duration flight astronaut physical
- You can alternatively fulfil the master’s degree requirement by enrolling in a doctoral program for two years (36 semester hours or 54 quarter hours) in a related field of science, technology, engineering, or math.
- A doctorate in medicine or osteopathic medicine that has been earned.
- Completion of a globally renowned test pilot school program (or current enrollment that will result in completion by June 2021).
- Candidates for astronaut positions must also possess leadership, teamwork, and communication skills.
- After being accepted into the astronaut program, you will spend a further two years through NASA astronaut training. The fundamentals of becoming an astronaut are covered in classes in this highly specialized training, including:
- Military water survival techniques, robotics expertise, medical physiology, training with simulation environments
The first part, which lasts for two years, is basic training. The majority of the training takes place in a classroom as the applicants learn about the systems of the vehicles and space stations. They study important fields such as meteorology, engineering, space science, and earth sciences that may be useful in their work in space.
Military sea and land survival training must also be conducted outside of the classroom in order to be ready for an unanticipated return to Earth. The applicants must pass a swimming test and obtain scuba certification; they have to swim three lengths of an 82-foot (25-meter) pool without pausing, followed by three lengths in flying suits and tennis shoes with no time restriction. They must also don flight suits and tread water continuously for 10 minutes. Within the first month of instruction, both the swimming exam and the scuba certification must be passed.
Phase Two Training
After completing their basic training, candidates may be chosen to become astronauts. In the second phase, the trainees are placed in groups with seasoned astronauts, working with them to master a range of pre-launch, launch, orbit, entry, and landing-related tasks.
The seasoned astronaut’s coach and advise the trainees by imparting their knowledge and experience.
Extraordinary Mission Training
The astronauts are given their crew and mission assignments during the advanced mission training phase, which lasts 10 months. They concentrate on drills, activities, and tests pertinent to their purpose and get comfortable with the power tools and other specialized equipment they will use there.
How Long It Takes to Become an Astronaut?
To become an astronaut, you need to put in around 11 years. Prior to submitting an application to become an astronaut candidate, you must spend years preparing.
Your bachelor’s degree will take four years to finish.
A STEM master’s degree can be obtained in two years.
1,000 hours in a jet as the pilot-in-command or at least two years of professional experience in a STEM field.
This was all about the prerequisites and requirements to clarify how to become an astronaut, I hope you have found this article entertaining. And the answers to the questions in your mind are already given in this content.