NASA Is Accepting Applications for the Next Class of Astronauts Starting Today

Monday, 14 December 2015 - 11:28AM
Science News
Monday, 14 December 2015 - 11:28AM
NASA Is Accepting Applications for the Next Class of Astronauts Starting Today
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NASA is finally accepting another class of astronauts this year, and the applications officially open today. There are extremely stringent requirements if you want to actually get in, but technically, almost anyone in the sciences that is older than 25 is eligible to apply.

In order to apply, you need to have either three years of professional experience in a related field (usually the sciences, but educators are also encouraged to apply) or its equivalent (a PhD is three years, a Masters degree is one). Unless you're looking to be a pilot, that is, and then 1,000 hours of in-command flying time, usually in the military. 

There are also several physical requirements, as spaceflight incredibly taxing on the body. Candidates need to be taller than 5'1" and shorter than 6'3", they need to have corrected 20/20 vision, and you need to be physically fit, with a 140/90 sitting blood pressure. There will also be intense physical testing for the candidates that are accepted, such as treading water for ten minutes in a flight suit.

The applications open today, December 14, and will remain open until February. After an extensive interview process, the new class of astronauts will be announced in June 2017.

Here's the full application timeline:

December 14, 2015
Vacancy Announcement opens in USAJOBS
February 2016
Vacancy Announcement closes
February–September 2016
Qualified Applications reviewed to determine Highly Qualified applicants. Qualifications Inquiry form sent to Supervisors/References and civilian applicants contacted by mail to obtain an FAA medical exam.
October–December 2016
Highly Qualified applications reviewed to determine Interviewees
February-April 2017
Interviewees brought to JSC for initial interview, medical evaluation, and orientation. Interviewees will be selected from the Highly Qualified group and contacted on a week-by-week basis.
May 2017
Finalists determined
June 2017
Astronaut Candidate Class of 2015 announced
August 2017
Astronaut Candidate Class of 2015 reports to the Johnson Space Center 
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