Tips to Becoming an Astronaut
Astronauts are very important in space missions and also maintaining space stations. A master’s degree in a STEM field is needed along with two years of training with NASA. Anyone with space interest may find jobs as engineers, scientists, and astronomers.
The path to becoming an Astronaut is not easy because it requires a lot of training and education. The workforce count of NASA’s astronauts isn’t exactly large. NASA has only 600 that have gone to space in over 5-decades. This does not mean your dreams of becoming an astronaut are not valid and impossible.
What is the Work of an Astronaut?
The main roles of astronauts are the commanders and pilots. The commander makes the most critical decisions on the spaceship. The pilot and commander work together. Other roles include the mission specialists who use defined skills for the mission.
The crew handles the checking of equipment and repair of the same. Astronauts spend about 120 minutes daily exercising to meet the demands of the role.
Steps to Becoming an Astronaut
Colleges do not offer a major towards becoming an astronaut. NASA does not look for people who dedicate their lives to exploring space. The selected candidates are often people who are experts in science and math. A master’s degree is also expected of an aspiring astronaut along with two years cognate experience.
Candidates have to pass the long-duration flight astronaut physical by NASA. The height range of the potential astronaut is between 5 feet 2 inches and 6 feet 3 inches. Also required of the candidate is 20/20 vision and a blood pressure count of 140/90.
NASA looks for candidates who pay close attention to detail.
How Difficult is it to be an Astronaut?
NASA goes on an employment drive every four years and sees many applications. For instance, in 2013, NASA had 6,000 applicants, but only eight got chosen. This represents about a 1% success rate.
Even if your application gets approved by NASA, it will take some time before you go to space. You will first have to complete two years of basic training, including classroom and physical training. Trainees also study Russian to be able to converse with the Russian Mission Control Center.
Trainee astronauts are to pass a physical test. There is a need to swim three laps in a pool and scuba certification for putting on a flight suit. Trainees must also pass through military water and land survival training.
Trainees are to carry out simulations that enable them to familiarize themselves with low and high pressures.
How Much Education do you Need to Become an Astronaut?
An applicant should have a master’s degree in a STEM field. Being at least two years into a doctoral program will also give you an edge.
Duration to Become an Astronaut
Astronauts ought to have at least two years of basic training. This all makes it a ten year training period. After this, the astronaut will need to wait for months before going on their first mission.
The path towards becoming an astronaut as a college student isn’t rosy, but it is achievable. Though the success rate is less than 1%, you can become one of them!