NASA Seeks Astronauts for Moon and Mars Missions

Written by Camilla Jessen

Mar.06 - 2024 7:51 AM CET

Want to explore Mars or visit the moon? Now's your chance to apply to be an astronaut.

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NASA announced on Tuesday it's on the hunt for the next group of astronauts. Successful candidates might just secure a seat on a mission to Mars or even participate in an upcoming lunar expedition.

"NASA astronauts have been exploring space for over six decades, with a permanent presence in orbit since 2000," says NASA's call for applications. "Through the Artemis program, we're gearing up to send the first woman and another man to the moon. The Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket will take humans further than ever before – aiming for the moon and eventually Mars."


Here's what you need to know about the astronaut role, which pays $152,000 annually:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen.

  • You need a master’s degree in a STEM field like engineering or physics from an accredited institution.

  • You require at least three years of professional experience post-graduation, or 1,000 Pilot-in-Command hours, primarily in high-performance jet aircraft for pilots. Medical doctors can count residency toward this experience, which must be completed by June 2025.

  • You must pass NASA's long-duration spaceflight physical.

  • Alternative qualifications include significant progress in a STEM doctoral program, a medical degree, or completion of a recognized test pilot school program by June 2025.

Leadership, teamwork, and communication skills are also crucial.

The selection process starts with interviews at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Finalists undergo a rigorous two-year training program, learning everything from spacewalking to flying jet planes.

Applications are open until April 2.

The announcement coincided with the introduction of NASA's newest astronaut class, completed two years of basic training. This group includes 10 NASA recruits and two from the United Arab Emirates, all poised for missions to the International Space Station, the moon, and potentially Mars.

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