You now have the chance of piloting a rocket into space or take part in one of the U.S. space agency’s fancy manned missions beyond low-orbit such as a crewed mission to Mars.
In October, NASA unveiled new potential missions to Mars, asteroids, and other exotic locations. If the agency sticks with its promises, it would be the first time humans travel beyond low-orbit since Apollo 17 in 1972. So, NASA now needs more astronauts for a new generation of “American space explorers.”
The new generation should go where no man has gone before including on the dry soil of the Red Planet, which is now relentlessly explored and probed by a series of robotic missions.
Charles Bolden of NASA recently told reporters that the new generation of astronauts is needed for humanity to perform critical research on the International Space Station and take a closer look at our solar system with help of the latest technological advances.
Nevertheless, becoming an astronaut nowadays is far less restricting than it was a few decades ago. Minimum requirements now involve a Bachelor’s degree in engineering, physics, biology or math, or a minimum of three years of experience in one of these fields. Candidates will also need to be able to pass the official physical tests designed for astronauts.
Yet, meeting these requirements may not be enough to land you a job at NASA. Your chances to be hired will more than double if you also have an advanced degree or more in a relevant field and/or at least 1,000 hours on a jet plane as a pilot.
So far, the U.S.A. boasts with only 300 astronauts and NASA rarely announces such opportunities. Last time it was looking for applicants, it was in 2011, when there were more than 6,100 candidates but only eight people were selected.
But if you do apply and are lucky enough to be picked by NASA, you will have the unique opportunity to be among the first humans to set foot on Mars. The space agency recently announced that it was closer to sending humans to the Red Planet than ever before in space flight history.
In the 1980s, NASA hoped that a Mars mission would be attainable in 30 years’ time. But that proved to be overly optimistic. Yet, researchers currently believe that the new goal of landing humans on Mars in the 2030s is highly achievable.
NASA also announced that it would start accepting applications on Dec. 14.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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