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NASA searching for new astronauts for first time in 4 years

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Posted at 2:25 PM, Mar 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-03 16:25:14-05

HOUSTON, Texas – The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced Monday that it’s hiring a new round of astronauts for the first time in more than four years.

NASA says the call for more astronauts comes at a time when the agency is preparing to send the first woman and next man to the Moon with the Artemis program. They hope exploring the Moon will prepare the crews to go to Mars.

The basic requirements to apply include U.S. citizenship and a master’s degree in a STEM field, including engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science, or mathematics. The requirement for the master’s degree can also be met by:

– Two years (36 semester hours or 54 quarter hours) of work toward a Ph.D. program in a related science, technology, engineering or math field;
– A completed doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathic medicine degree;
– Completion (or current enrollment that will result in completion by June 2021) of a nationally or internationally recognized test pilot school program. However, if test pilot school is your only advanced degree, you must also have a bachelor’s degree or higher in a STEM field.

NASA says candidates also must have at least two years of related, progressively responsible professional experience, or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft. Candidates must also pass the NASA long-duration spaceflight physical.

As part of the application process, applicants will, for the first time, be required to take an online assessment that will require up to two hours to complete.

NASA expects to select final candidates in mid-2021 to begin training as the next class of Artemis Generation astronauts.

After completing training, the new astronauts could launch on American rockets and spacecraft to live and work aboard the International Space Station. There, they will take part in experiments that benefit life at home and prepare us for the Moon and Mars.

Aspiring astronauts have until 11:59 p.m. ET on March 31 to apply. Applications can be submitted here.