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You Can Apply to be a NASA Astronaut Right Now

You Can Apply to be a NASA Astronaut Right Now

With tech-community leaders like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk turning their attention to the final frontier with their respective companies, Blue Origin and SpaceX, it’s become clear that the private sector race to explore space is heating up faster than a Falcon 9 rocket booster. But NASA, the U.S. government’s federal space agency, is still a huge part of the fight against the force of gravity. Now, according to one of their latest job listings, they’re looking to hire a fresh class of astronauts.

The job listing, which was posted by the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (aka “Space City”), has an open application period between December 14, 2015 and February 18, 2016, and is for “astronaut candidates” that “may fly on any of four different U.S. spacecraft during their careers: the International Space Station (ISS), two new commercial spacecraft being built by U.S. companies, and NASA’s Orion deep-space exploration vehicle.” The listing also mentions that this class of astronauts will likely spend significant amounts of time in lunar orbit “before moving on to longer duration missions on the journey to Mars.”

Did you hear that Watney?! We’re coming for you!

These positions are open to “all qualified U.S. citizens,” and include standard employment qualifications (drug testing, pre-employment background check, etc.) as well as more NASA-y requirements, including: a “Bachelor’s degree in engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science, or mathematics,” 3 years of related job experience or 1,000 hours of “pilot-in-command time in a jet aircraft” and 20/20 vision (glasses and LASIK are allowed). NASA also notes that “frequent travel may be required,” although this seems like a bit of an understatement considering that if you are selected, you’ll likely spend from three to six months aboard the International Space Station) which orbits about 249 miles above Earth’s surface.

If you think you have what it takes to be a steely-eyed missile man or woman, you can check out the job posting here. The position pays anywhere from $66,000 to $144,000, and selections will be announced in spring of 2017. You’ll need a degree in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) field, three years of work experience, and to pass a rigorous physical exam.

So what do you think? Are you G enough to go Zero-G, or are you happy to stay right here on Earth’s surface with all of this lovely atmosphere and non-catastrophic open flames? Let us know in the comments section below!

Image: deviantART // Rahll

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