Space, it’s all around us, taunting us out there, almost impossible to reach. Oh sure we’ve been there a few times, but when NASA sends people up there, it was usually derring-do pilots with years of military experience. Well that changes today, because in a move that’s almost ripped straight from The Simpsons, NASA has put up an ad looking for astronauts. Fucking astronauts. That are going to space! And the best part is, all you need to qualify is a bachelor’s degree. You could go to space!
Seriously, there’s an actual job listing for “astronaut” out there, and it’s more legit than the plan to shoot you up to Mars and just leave you there. NASA is hiring because they’re getting back in the human spaceflight game in order to carry out “deep-space exploration missions that will advance a future human mission to Mars” according to the job listing on the same internet as those sketchy Craigslist “writing assistant” ads. If you’re selected as an astronaut, you’ll be flying out of Earth’s gravitational pull and into space on one of four spacecraft: one of two commercial crew craft being developed by Boeing and SpaceX, the International Space Station or NASA’s deep space exploration vehicle, Orion.
Since this is America, land of dreams, NASA is picking from “a diverse pool of U.S. citizens with a wide variety of backgrounds.” Of course, just because NASA is accepting any old resumes doesn’t mean they don’t have some specific requirements. Fortunately for average schlubs like us, those requirements aren’t out of reach. You need to have a degree (just a bachelor’s!) in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics, and three years of “related, progressively responsible professional experience.” So with any luck, you haven’t been making lateral career moves, you’ve only been moving on up. And no, it’s not required that you be a pilot, although if you have 1,000 hours being in command of a commercial airline it’s a plus.
Also, you have to pass NASA’s long-duration space flight physical, the effects of which can be seen below:
Obviously there are risks to being an astronaut and going to Mars and maybe never seeing your family and friends again. On the other hand, ugh, screw them, it’s space! So think about it, but not too long, the application period lasts from December 14 to mid-February. Good luck, and godspeed.
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