If you’ve ever wanted to be an astronaut but assumed NASA had some fancy recruitment tactics, well…prepare to have your mind blown.
Because anyone with a master’s degree in a STEM field who doesn’t mind tight spaces could technically land the job.
NASA recently posted an ad for astronauts on USAJobs, and as long as you meet the basic requirements, you’re welcome to apply.
Astronauts make between $104,898 and $161,141 a year, and perform duties like conducting operations on the International Space Station and testing new space spacecraft.
That said, the application process is probably not the easiest thing to get through.
Here are the basic qualifications:
- You must have a master’s degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Exceptions are possible for people who are more than two years into a like PhD program, have a medical degree, or have completed an internationally recognized test pilot school program.
- Real world experience in professional work and, for pilots, at least 1000 hours command-piloting high-performance aircraft.
If you meet these requirements, don’t start bragging to your friends just yet. You still have to pass a long-duration spaceflight physical, undergo a psychiatric examination, and pass an assessment of leadership and problem-solving skills.
The interview, testing, and assessing part of the hiring process could take up to a year (because we’re not currently being threatened by a global-killer asteroid).
Final hiring decisions won’t be made until mid-2021, and the competition will be tough – the last time NASA sought astronaut applicants from the public, only 12 people out of the 18,300 who applied were accepted.
If you think you could be one of the brightest and luckiest of the bunch, here’s the application.
Or you can try this astronaut aptitude test first, just to see whether you might be a good fit.
Me? I don’t meet a single requirement, I don’t like tight spaces, and I have no interest in living somewhere I can’t breathe – but I salute those of you who do.