Will You Go Where No Man Has Gone Before?

November 6, 2015 | Gillian Burrell

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Photo credit: N. Kodama/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

For the first time in two years, NASA is hiring astronauts. These daring new recruits will travel further from Earth than any human has gone before.

In a press release yesterday (November 4), NASA announced its plans to hire the next class of astronauts for NASA’s human spaceflight program. With more spacecraft being developed in the United States today than at any other time in history, NASA will need astronauts to crew more than just the International Space Station. In addition to two commercial space shuttles, NASA will soon be launching Orion, the deep-space vessel.

Orion is designed to reach high velocities that will enable astronauts to travel great distances. Unlike the space shuttles that take astronauts to ISS, Orion can fly faster and further, and withstand extreme temperatures when it returns to Earth at high speeds. In the 2020s, Orion will travel to a distant asteroid, and in the 2030s, it will land on Mars!

The new class of astronauts will crew Orion as it takes its first manned test-flight, further into space than humans have ever traveled.

SEE ALSO: 10 Lesser-Known Facts about the International Space Station

Do you qualify to be on board Orion? Here’s what you’ll need to be eligible:

1. A bachelor’s degree in engineering, biological science, physical science, or mathematics.

2. Three years of related, progressively responsible professional experience

It costs an estimated $350,000 an hour to keep the ISS in the air, so every minute of an astronaut’s day is scheduled by NASA’s mission control on Earth. Astronauts are expected to perform rigorous scientific experiments and technical repairs to the space station.  So although the basic requirements only ask for an undergraduate degree, astronauts tend to be scientists with advanced degrees and a wealth of experience with scientific research.

If you’re not a rocket scientist, you can still become a pilot astronaut or commander of the ISS. You’ll still need a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, but instead of specializing in scientific research, you can be a pilot with 1,000 hours of experience in a jet aircraft. The pilot assists the commander in controlling and operating both the space shuttle and the space station.

There are also several physical requirements you will need to meet to go to Mars.

1. Height between 58.5 and 76 inches

2. Blood pressure: 140/90 in a sitting position

3. 20/100 vision (or better), 20/20 with glasses or contacts.

That’s right, you might be too tall or too short to be an astronaut. It’s nothing personal — it’s just that seats on the space shuttle are one-size-fits-all.

Applications will be accepted from December 14 until mid-February.

Apply here: http://www.usajobs.gov

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