Want to go to the moon? NASA is accepting applications

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on February 13, 2020

Here is everything you need to know to join this program

National Aeronautics for Space and Administration (NASA) is all set to onboard its next batch of ‘Astronaut Corps’.  NASA recently announced a plan to expand its team as part of the ambitious mission to Moon and Mars, in the coming years. There are currently 48 active members in the Corps.

NASA released the statement, saying that the agency will accept applications from March 2 to March 31 for the next class of artemis generation astronauts.

For the position of the Astronaut Corps, NASA  is offering $53,800 (₹38,46,027) to $70,000 (₹50,04,125).

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in an official release: “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.”

“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,” he said.

Eligibility criteria

The basic requirements include United States citizenship and a master’s degree in a STEM field that includes engineering, biological science, computer science, or mathematics from an accredited institution.

The requirement for the master’s degree can also be met by two years (36 semester hours or 54 quarter hours) of work toward a Ph.D. program related to science and math. Applicants are also eligible by being a test pilot, one of the most well-worn paths to the astronaut corps. A medical degree -- or one in osteopathic medicine -- will work as well.

Highly competitive process

The process of shortlisting applicants for the Astronaut Corps program will be highly competitive. The last class of NASA astronauts, who finished their course last month, were picked from an exhausting list of 18,000 applicants.

About half of the recruits had a military background, especially test pilots who fly dangerous experimental aircraft, including the likes of Alan Shepard, the first American in space, and Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon.

Published on February 13, 2020

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