Hear ye, hear ye, all ye astronauts desiring to leave this world… The old fart’s top travel story today is another one that’s literally out of this world. As reported earlier, Virgin Galactic announced it was accepting deposits for the chance to go to space, and now NASA has announced its call for space pilots. And in this old fart’s opinion the pay’s pretty heavenly too, with a beginning astronaut earning between $105,000 to $161,000 a year. The search comes after NASA recently announced its plans to send the first woman and the next man to the moon as part of its Artemis program, which aims to return humans to the moon by 2024. NASA’s next goal will then be to establish a long-term base on the moon by 2028. NASA says that it will then be able to launch regular space operations, including missions to Mars and beyond, from the new lunar base.
Rub Shoulders With Stars
So, if you’ve always wanted to have a blast, rub shoulders with stars and take your place in history, now could be your chance. For the first time in more than four years, the U.S. space agency NASA is seeking candidates to be future astronauts. NASA Administrator, Jim Bridenstine, said these plans present a growing need to choose and train future space explorers. “America is closer than any other time in history since the Apollo program to returning astronauts to the Moon,” Bridenstine said. “We will send the first woman and next man to the lunar South Pole by 2024, and we need more astronauts to follow suit on the moon, and then Mars,” he said, adding, “If you have always dreamed of being an astronaut, apply now.”
Astronaut Candidates Can Apply Now
NASA currently has 48 active astronauts, and the last time it sought new candidates was in late 2015. At that time, a record-breaking 18,300 people applied. Eleven of them were chosen to become NASA astronauts. After going through an intensive training program, the astronauts officially graduated in January. So what exactly is NASA looking for in its crew of new astronauts? Two general requirements are that applicants must be U.S. citizens and hold a master’s degree in a field related to science, technology, engineering or mathematics, or STEM.
Fitness Tested For Long-Term Spaceflight
This master’s requirement can also be met with the completion of at least two years of a STEM PhD program, or by finishing a test pilot school program. A medical degree will also be accepted. In addition, candidates must also have at least two years of professional experience in their field, or, in the case of pilots, candidates need at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command flying time. Of course, all applicants will have to successfully undergo a NASA physical examination to insure fitness for long-term spaceflight.
May Require Working Remotely
The positions offered will be based in the Houston, Texas, headquarters of the Johnson Space Center. However, applicants must also be willing to live and work 400 kilometers above Earth during possible stays at the International Space Station, oh, and Mars, and whatever comes next. NASA says the final Artemis Generation astronaut candidates will be selected in the middle of 2021, and will immediately begin training. So if you’re right hot to trot your buns toward the sun, here’s your golden opportunity. Personally, this old fart ain’t interested in space flight until the only physical and mental requirements are a pulse and consciousness, but I encourage you younger folks to ‘fly right at it’.
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