KEY POINTS

  • NASA wants to hire more Artemis generation astronauts
  • Applications are set to open in March
  • Requirements include US citizenship, STEM-related careers and passing NASA exams

Ever dreamed of becoming an astronaut? NASA is now looking for new astronaut candidates and applications are opening very soon.

Artemis Generation Astronauts For Hire

It was only in January 2020 when the first class of astronauts under the Artemis program graduated but NASA is already looking for more. In a simple media advisory, NASA announced that it is searching for more Artemis generation astronauts and that applications will be open from March 2 to 31.

Basic requirements to be eligible include a United States citizenship, a master’s degree in a STEM field from an accredited institution, at least two years of related professional experience or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time and passing the NASA long-duration spaceflight physical. For the first time, astronaut applicants will also have to take an online assessment that may take up to two hours to complete.

Astronaut aspirants may apply at USAJOBS, an official website of the United States government. Other requirements and information about the opening may be found on the NASA website.

Astronaut Corps

“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,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said. “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.”

NASA has, so far, selected 350 people to train as astronauts since the 1960s, with the “Original Seven” being selected in 1959. That first batch consisted of seven men, all of whom were pilots. Since the Original Seven, NASA has selected 22 more batches of astronauts, with the members of the latest group having backgrounds in medicine, science and even education.

Right now, there are 48 astronauts in the active astronaut corps. However, more astronauts will be needed to achieve the goals of the Artemis program to bring the next man and the first woman to the Moon by 2024 and, eventually, send the first humans to Mars by the 2030s.

According to NASA, the astronauts who will complete the training could eventually live and work aboard the ISS to take part in experiments that will help prepare NASA for further explorations. They can even be part of the missions to the Moon and beyond.

“They may also launch on NASA's powerful new Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft, docking the spacecraft at the Gateway in lunar orbit before taking a new human landing system to the Moon's surface,” NASA said. “After returning humans to the Moon in 2024, NASA plans to establish sustainable lunar exploration by 2028. Gaining new experiences on and around the Moon will prepare NASA to send the first humans to Mars in the mid-2030s.”

The selection of the new astronauts is expected to take place by mid-2021.

NASA Astronaut NASA saw a record number of applicants for its 2017 astronaut class. Pictured: Backdropped against the blue and white Earth 130 nautical miles below, astronaut Mark C. Lee tests the new Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER) system. Photo: NASA