NASA looking to hire astronauts: Do you have what it takes?

Need a new job? NASA is accepting applications for astronauts. 

On Tuesday, the agency congratulated its most recent class of Artemis astronauts who graduated in a ceremony at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. 

The ceremony was followed up by an announcement that it is accepting applications from the public to be a part of the next graduating class.

"Congratulations to the newest class of NASA astronauts! We are excited to have a new and diverse set of explorers ready to expand humanity’s reach," said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. "Astronauts are pioneers who will help us embark on this new era of exploration, and we need more adventurers ready to join the ranks to explore the cosmos, including future missions to the Moon, on to Mars, and beyond."

When NASA last accepted applications for astronauts in 2020, more than 12,000 people applied. Only ten were accepted, representing the recent class that graduated this month. 

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While it may be the dream of many to be a space explorer, there are a few qualifications you'll have to meet before being considered.

Here’s what’s needed in the application process: 

  • Pass a drug test
  • Pass a background test
  • Fitness testing including the Agency Physical Fitness Test
  • Medical and psychiatric examination

And don’t forget, leadership, teamwork and communications are a must, NASA says. 

Education requirements to be an astronaut

  • Have a master’s degree, Ph.D., or foreign equivalent, in a STEM field like engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science or mathematics from an accredited college. 
  • Complete a test pilot school program that is nationally or internationally recognized by June 2025. 

"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," according to the application.

What does training to be an astronaut look like?

Candidates who meet the basic requirements have until April 2 to apply. They will then undergo intensive training for two years, in which they will learn basic astronaut skills like spacewalking, robotics, and flying T-38 jet planes. 

"Artemis Generation astronauts will explore and conduct experiments where humans have never been," NASA said. 

How much do astronauts get paid? 

Applicants who get the job can expect an annual salary of $152,258 per year. 

The application process is open from March 5 - April 2, 2024. Click here to apply