Last month, NASA began accepting applications for its newest class of astronauts. Interested applicants simply go online to USAjobs.gov and upload their resume and references. From there, candidates will be contacted for several rounds of interviews. Prerequisites include a degree in any scientific field, 20/20 vision, and a height between 4' 8.5" and 6' 4" Sounds simple right? Not so much.
In 2013, the last time NASA had open positions for astronauts, over 6,000 people applied to the program, and only eight were selected. That's less than 1% of total applicants accepted. Of those chosen, many had already interviewed for the position before and were turned down.
Those accepted to the program will then begin two years of intense training. While NASA's own shuttle program ended in 2011, the organization continues to send astronauts into space on the shuttles of other countries. When asked about goals for the future, NASA administrator Charles Bolden cited new lunar missions and space travel to Mars as possibilities. While Mars seems a bit far off, innovations such as growing plants while in space may help sustain astronauts for extended manned missions sometime in the future.
For those ready to make their way to outer space, applications for the astronaut program are due by February 18.
For everyone else, you can still be a part of the NASA adventure with our NASA MA-1 flight jacket, now back in stock!