When kids say that they want to be astronauts, most people would probably think that’s sweet but pay little attention to it. However, believe it or not, becoming an astronaut takes only one important quality and that’s determination. Okay, maybe that’s a little simplistic; however, it’s no big mystery as NASA has made a point of publicly publishing their requirements to become an astronaut. So, now if a child says they want to be an astronaut, we know exactly what it takes to get there.
A Bachelor’s Degree
Like many of the high-flying jobs out there, you will require a bachelor’s degree. However, they do need the degree to be in a STEM field. This means science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. They specify themselves that they should be biological science, physical science, computer science, engineering or mathematics.
Experience in a related profession
This probably seems quite vague at first, but what it means is that it has to be a profession that relates to either NASA or your degree course. It’s not the only one, thankfully and there are a few more routes you can take. Another consideration they take into account is having completed at least 1000 hours as a pilot in command on a jet aircraft.
Becoming an Astronaut is a serious honor and worthy of great pride, but you don’t get there by slacking off. Sure you might be working toward a degree in one of the STEM subjects, but you also need to make sure you do well. You have to try and achieve a better grade than everyone else while also staying focused on your goal. You will also need to make sure that you’re keeping up-to-date with NASA. Keeping up with new technology and discoveries will give you an edge that clearly shows your passion.
Keep a clean record
Unfortunately, you’re far less likely to be selected to become an astronaut if your record has spots on it. Of course, there may be exceptions depending on what it is and when, but ultimately you want to make sure you’re staying out of trouble as much as possible.
Leadership and teamwork
On top of everything we have already mentioned, you will also need to show skills in teamwork, leadership, and have the ability to communicate effectively. It’s not an easy process, but then it’s so they are ensuring that only the best are being put in these potentially dangerous situations. Especially as NASA plans to start sending men on more extended missions that go much further into space than we have ever been.
Surviving the process
In 2016 NASA received 18,300 applications for people to join their ranks. The Astronaut Selection Board then reviews every one of these applications and decides who will actually make it to interviews. Of these many thousands of people, only a reported 120 people make it to interviews. Those interviewees are then invited to the Johnson Space Centre in Housten, Texas. Then, from all those 120 people who want to become an astronaut, only around half get accepted for a second round. After that, the final people are selected to become astronauts and are invited to complete a two-year training course.
As you can see, becoming an astronaut is no easy business. However, it’s not impossible. Those with the strength and determination to make it will get to become an astronaut, how awesome is that?