9 things to know if you want to become a NASA astronaut

9 things to know if you want to become a NASA astronaut
CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 19: Astronauts (L-R), Josh Cassada, NASA astronaut, Starliner first operational mission, Suni Williams, NASA astronaut, Starliner first operational mission, Nicole Mann, NASA astronaut, Starliner Crew Flight Test, Chris Ferguson, Boeing astronaut, Starliner Crew Flight Test and Mike Fincke, NASA astronaut, Starliner Crew Flight Test, speak to the media a day before the scheduled launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, topped by a Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, from Space Launch Complex 41 on December 19, 2019 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The scheduled launch is another step in NASA’s Commercial Crew Program that aims to return human spaceflight launches to the space station from American soil on America spacecraft and rockets. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

With the countdown to liftoff on for the first manned launch from the Space Coast in nearly a decade, many may be dreaming about the future of spaceflight and what it would be like to be the blasting off into space.

As NASA continues to expand human exploration in our solar system, officials said they will need more than the currently active astronauts to crew spacecraft bound for multiple deep-space destinations, WFTV reported.

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  • To become an astronaut, NASA says you must be a U.S. citizen.
  • You also much have a master’s degree in a science, technology, engineering or math field, including biological science, physical science or computer science from an accredited institution.
  • If you don’t have a master’s degree, NASA says that requirement can also be met by two years of work toward a doctoral program in a related science, technology, engineering or math field; a completed doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathic medicine degree; or completion (or current enrollment that will result in completion by June 2021) of a nationally recognized test pilot school program.
  • NASA says astronauts also must have at least two years of related professional experience obtained after degree completion or at least 1,000 hours pilot-in-command time on jet aircraft.
  • According to NASA, astronaut candidates must also have skills in leadership, teamwork and communications.
  • In 2016, NASA said it received a record-breaking 18,300 applications.
  • NASA said its Astronaut Selection Board reviews the applications and assesses each candidate’s qualifications and then invites a small group of the most highly qualified candidates for interviews at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.
  • Of those interviewed, about half are invited back for second interviews. From that group, NASA said its new astronaut candidates are selected.
  • NASA said those candidates report for training at Johnson and spend the next two years learning basic astronaut skills like spacewalking, operating the space station, flying T-38 jet planes and controlling a robotic arm.