NASA opens up applications for new astronaut class

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It takes a long time just to get into the suit astronauts wear for their training in the giant neutral buoyancy tank.

But like Rookie astronaut Zena Cardman, space explorers spend their whole lives just getting here.

Now you might be able to take the plunge too because Monday, the journey for a whole new crop of NASA astronauts begins.

Astronaut Stan Love said the odds of being selected are pretty low.

“My odds were only 100 to 1, our last class was a class of 12 selected from a pool of 18,000 applications, so their odds were 1000 to one.”

NASA only needs about 20 trainees for the next class and you will be training for all sorts of things, including missions to the International Space Station, the moon, and hopefully Mars.

NASA officials say degrees in Math, Science, and Engineering are required and you have to have a Masters Degree.

In addition, there are several other requirements:

  • Conducting operations in space, including on the International Space Station (ISS) and in the development and testing of future spacecraft.
  • Performing extravehicular activities (EVA) and robotics operations using the remote manipulator system.
  • Conducting research experiments and operating as a safe member of an aircraft crew (including flight planning and communications) and spacecraft maintenance activities.
  • Participating in mission simulations to help themselves and flight controllers in the Mission Control Center operate in the dynamic environment of space.
  • Serving as the public face of NASA, providing appearances across the country and internationally, and sharing NASA’s discoveries and goals.

For those who have already made it, this is a dream come true but Love said it’s not an easy task.

“I came in the door with a Ph.D. in astronomy and about 100 hours in a Cessna 172, and with that basis, I needed to learn how to operate a robotic arm, do a spacewalk and be in a crew member in a T-38 jet.”

Also if you think you have what it takes to survive not just a neutral buoyancy pool but also a mission in space, you can apply online.

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