Remember when you were young and adults would ask what you'd like to be when you grew up? If you were like most kids, you probably named "astronaut" as one of your desired careers.
Although most people know that taking this career path is not exactly accessible nor cut and dried, that may all very well change now. Vying for this occupation may actually be as easy as Googling up the requirements on the Internet or submitting your job application to this USA Jobs link.
Whether or not you might qualify is a totally different story, however. MSN posted this story to make it easier for interested parties to check whether they have what it takes to join the intergalactic team. NASA has released the following checklist:
- Be a US citizen
- Have a Bachelors' degree in "engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science, or mathematics" (nursing, many social sciences, and some psychology degrees don't make the cut)
- Have three years of professional experience in your field (teaching is acceptable), or have 1,000 hours of "pilot in command" time on a jet
- 20/20 vision, or use glasses that enable 20/20 vision
- 5 feet 2 inches and 6 feet 3 inches tall (to fit into the space suit)
In the official NASA statement, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said: "NASA is on an ambitious journey to Mars and we're looking for talented men and women from diverse backgrounds and every walk of life to help get us there. Today, we opened the application process for our next class of astronauts, extraordinary Americans who will take the next giant leap in exploration. This group will launch to space from U.S. soil on American-made spacecraft and blaze the trail on our journey to the Red Planet."
Interested parties must hurry as the agency plans to announce the final list of candidates by the middle of 2017.
Successful applicants have the chance to fly on the following U.S. spacecraft: the International Space Station, two commercial crew spacecraft currently in development by U.S. companies, and NASA's Orion deep-space exploration vehicle.
The statement further detailed that NASA astronauts will launch to the International Space Station from Florida's Space Coast on American-made commercial spacecraft -- Boeing's CST-100 Starliner and the SpaceX Crew Dragon.
NASA also revealed that the agency plans to add a seventh crew member to each station mission so that more research can be done in space.