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NASA accepts requests for new astronauts to explore the Moon, Mars

NASA's new class of astronauts

NASA’s new class of astronauts – the first to graduate since the agency announced its Artemis program – appears on stage during the graduation ceremony at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston on January 10, 2020. The class includes 11 NASA astronauts, as well as two Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronauts, selected in 2017. They will join the active astronaut body, starting a career in exploration that could lead them to the International Space Station, on a mission to the Moon in the ambit. of the Artemis program, or one day, Mars. Pictured left are: NASA’s Kayla Barron, NASA’s Zena Cardman, NASA’s Raja Chari, NASA’s Matthew Dominick, NASA’s Bob Hines, NASA’s Warren Hoburg, NASA’s Jonny Kim, CSA’s Joshua Kutryk, NASA’s Jasmin Moghbeli , Loral O’Hara of NASA, Jessica Watkins of NASA, Jennifer Sidey-Gibbons of CSA and Frank Rubio of NASA. Credit: NASA

For the first time in more than four years, NASA began accepting applications for prospective astronauts on Monday. Aspiring Luna a Mars scouts have until 11:59 pm EDT Tuesday March 31st to apply.

The demand for more astronauts comes at a time when the agency is preparing to send the first woman and the next man to the moon with the Artemis program. Exploring the moon in this decade will help prepare humanity for its next big leap: sending astronauts to Mars.

U.S. citizens can submit questions to #BeAnAstronaut here.

“America is closer than ever before in history from the Apollo program to the return of the astronauts to the moon. We will ship the first woman and the next man to the lunar South Pole by 2024 and we will need more astronauts to follow suit on the Moon, and then on Mars, “said NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine. “We are looking for talented men and women from different backgrounds and from all walks of life to join us in this new era of human exploration that begins with the Artemis on the Moon program. If you have always dreamed of being an astronaut, apply now . “

“Becoming an astronaut is not an easy task, because being an astronaut is not an easy task.” – Steve Koerner, NASA Director of Flight Operations and President of the Astronaut Selection Board at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston

NASA plans to select the final astronaut candidates in mid-2021 to begin training as the next class of Artemis generation astronauts. The last time the agency searched for astronaut candidates, in late 2015, 18,300 people on record had applied. After more than two years of intense training, 11 new astronauts selected from that pool graduated earlier this year from the first public graduation ceremony the agency hosted.

“Becoming an astronaut is not an easy task, because being an astronaut is not an easy task,” said Steve Koerner, director of NASA’s flight operations and chairman of the astronaut selection commission at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. . “Those who apply will probably compete with thousands of people who have dreamed and worked to go into space for as long as they can remember. But somewhere among those candidates are our next astronauts and we can’t wait to to meet you. “

Since the 1960s, NASA has selected 350 people to train as astronaut candidates for its increasingly demanding missions to explore space. With 48 astronauts in the active astronaut body, more will be needed to serve as a crew aboard a spacecraft bound for multiple destinations and push exploration forward as part of Artemis missions and beyond.

Astronaut Andrew Morgan

NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan, whose US space suit is equipped with a variety of tools and cameras, holds on to a handrail during the second spacewalk to repair the International Space Station’s cosmic particle detector, Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. Credit: NASA

Basic requirements to apply include U.S. citizenship and a master’s degree in an STEM field, including engineering, biological sciences, physical sciences, computer science or mathematics, from an accredited institution. The requirements for the master can also be met by:

  • Two years (36 semester hours or 54 quarter hours) of work for a PhD. program in a related scientific, technological, engineering or mathematical field;
  • A full doctor of medicine or a doctor of osteopathic medicine;
  • Completion (or current enrollment which will end by June 2021) of a pilot school program recognized nationally or internationally. However, if the pilot test school is your only master’s degree, you must also have a bachelor’s degree or a higher diploma in an STEM field.

Applicants must also have at least two years of related and progressively responsible professional experience, or at least 1,000 hours of command time on a jet plane. Astronaut candidates must overcome physical NASA’s long-term space flight.

As part of the application process, applicants will, for the first time, conduct an online assessment which will take up to two hours to complete.

After completing the training, the new astronauts could launch on American missiles and spacecraft – developed for NASA’s commercial crew program – to live and work aboard the International Space Station, 250 miles above Earth. There they will take part in experiments for the benefit of life at home and prepare us for the Moon and Mars.

They could also launch on the new powerful NASA space rocket and the Orion spacecraft, docking at the Gateway in lunar orbit before bringing a new human landing system to the surface of the Moon. After returning humans to the moon in 2024, NASA plans to send astronauts to the lunar surface once a year on expeditions and to establish sustainable lunar explorations by 2028. Acquiring new experiences on and around the moon will prepare NASA for send the first humans to Mars in the mid-2030s.

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