Apply to Be a NASA Astronaut. Opportunity is open to the general public.

NASA is Calling YOU: Apply to Be a NASA Astronaut. Don't miss this unique opportunity to be a 'Star sailor.' The term “astronaut” means 'star sailor' in Greek.

Mar 9, 2024 - 06:07
Mar 11, 2024 - 09:07
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Become A NASA Astronaut

NASA astronauts have been traveling to space for more than six decades and living there continuously since 2000. Now, NASA’s Artemis program is preparing to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon. The Orion spacecraft atop the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket will carry humans farther into space than they have gone before—for missions to the Moon and eventually to Mars.

NASA is accepting applications for astronauts

Astronaut requirements have changed with NASA’s goals and missions. Today, to be considered for an astronaut position, applicants must meet the following qualifications:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen
  2. Have a master’s degree* in a STEM field, including engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science, or mathematics, from an accredited institution.
  3. Have a minimum of three years of related professional experience obtained after degree completion (or 1,000 Pilot-in-Command hours with at least 850 of those hours in high-performance jet aircraft for pilots) For medical doctors, time in residency can count towards experience and must be completed by June 2025.
  4. Be able to successfully complete the NASA long-duration flight astronaut physical.

*The master’s degree requirement can also be met by:

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  • Two years of work towards a doctoral program in a related science, technology, engineering, or math field.
  • Completed Doctor of Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, or related medical degree
  • Completion (or current enrollment that will result in completion by June 2025) of a nationally recognized test pilot school program.

Astronaut candidates must also have skills in leadership, teamwork, and communication.

Artemis Generation astronauts will explore and conduct experiments where humans have never been: the lunar South Pole.

NASA’s Astronaut Selection Board reviews the applications and assesses each candidate’s qualifications. The board then invites a small group of the most highly qualified candidates for interviews at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Of those interviewed, about half are invited back for second interviews. From that group, NASA’s new astronaut candidates are selected. They report for training at Johnson and spend the next two years learning basic astronaut skills like spacewalking, operating the space station, flying T-38 jet planes and controlling a robotic arm.

With NASA’s plans for the future of exploration, new astronauts will fly farther into space than ever before on lunar missions and may be the first humans to fly onto Mars.



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Astronaut Selection

More than 12,000 people applied to be an astronaut when NASA last accepted applications in 2020. From that pool, 10 people were chosen as astronaut candidates in December 2021, and are now flight-eligible NASA astronauts.

To date, NASA has selected 360 astronaut candidates to fly on its increasingly challenging missions to explore space. More are needed to see the space station into its third decade of science in low-Earth orbit and propel exploration forward as part of the Artemis missions and beyond.

The first U.S. astronauts were selected in 1959, before human spaceflight operations began. NASA asked the military services to provide a list of personnel who met specific qualifications. After stringent screening, NASA announced its selection of seven men, all pilots, as the first American astronauts. NASA has selected 22 more groups of astronauts since the “Original Seven.” The backgrounds of NASA’s latest group of Astronaut Candidates include doctors, physicists, engineers, and a member of the Team USA Track Cycling Team.

NASA selects astronauts from a diverse pool of applicants with a wide variety of backgrounds. From the thousands of applications received, only a few are chosen for the intensive Astronaut Candidate training program.




Astronaut Selection Timeline

The application window for the latest class is March 5 to April 2, 2024. The steps in the process are outlined below. However, the schedule is subject to change, as the timeline may be extended or accelerated based on the number of applicants.

  • March 5, 2024 – Vacancy Announcement opens
  • April 2, 2024 – Vacancy Announcement closes
  • April–May 2024 – Qualifications Review
  • June–July 2024 – Qualified Applications reviewed to determine Highly Qualified applicants
  • August–September 2024 – Highly Qualified applications reviewed to determine Interviewees
  • October–December 2024 – Initial Interviewees brought to Johnson Space Center for initial interview and activities. Interviewees will be selected from the Highly Qualified group
  • January 2025 – Finalists determined
  • January–April 2025 – Final Interviewees brought to Johnson Space Center for additional interview and final activities
  • June 2025 – Astronaut Candidate Class of 2025 announced
  • August 2025 – Astronaut Candidate Class of 2025 reports to the Johnson Space Center

Note: Timeline may be extended or accelerated based on the number of applicants. This schedule is subject to change. All applicants will receive a letter after selections are announced.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Applying to the Astronaut Candidate program is a multi-stage process. Initially, you will be evaluated based on how well you meet the minimum qualifications listed in this vacancy announcement. Your minimum qualifications will be evaluated based on your application materials (e.g., resume, supporting documents) and the responses you provide to the online application, which assess critical requirements of the astronaut job. Based on the answers you provided on the initial online assessment, you may be asked to complete additional online assessments. During subsequent stages of the selection process, you may be asked to complete in-person assessments, simulations, role plays and interviews.

Throughout the selection process, you will be assessed on your ability to demonstrate competencies related to the astronaut job such as:

  • Communicate information and ideas via written, oral, and visual media
  • Make informed and sound decisions in challenging situations to accomplish mission goals
  • Sustain motivation, display initiative, and high standards of ethical conduct
  • Relate well to others including those from varied backgrounds and in different situations
  • Work well with others to achieve goals both as a leader and a follower
  • Learn and utilize complex technical information (e.g., troubleshoot, diagnose, analyze, and identify system malfunctions to determine the source and cause of the problem)
Additionally, written application materials will be evaluated by subject matter experts using the competencies above, as well as:
  • Applicability and strength of the applicant's educational preparation
  • Relevance and diversity of the applicant's work experience, with a priority on operational experience
  • Strength of the candidate's technical experience in their field of expertise
  • Demonstrated experience working and performing on a team
You must complete all required steps in the process to be considered. Intentionally misrepresenting yourself, overstating qualifications on any of the application materials, assessment procedures, cheating or use of AI will result in removal from consideration.

In order to be rated as meeting the minimum qualifications, we must be able to determine from your application package that you have the education and specialized experience that is required. Applicants who have qualifying experience performed on a less-than-full-time basis must specify the percentage and length of time spent in performance of such duties.

Waivers are not granted for degree or experience requirements. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements by the closing date of the announcement, with Test Pilot School and medical residency completion by June 2025, if applicable.

Interviews, medical and psychiatric screening and additional assessments will be required for applicants under final consideration. Selected applicants will be designated astronaut candidates and will undergo a training and evaluation period lasting approximately two years. Selection into the Astronaut Candidate Program does not guarantee selection as an astronaut. Final selection as an astronaut will depend upon satisfactory completion of the training and evaluation period. Graduation from the Astronaut Candidate Program will require successful completion of the following: spacecraft systems training, Extravehicular Activity (EVA) skills training, robotics skills training, Russian language training, aircraft flight readiness training, and team skills training, among others.

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