Steps on How to Become an Astronaut


An astronaut is an individual trained to work and travel in space. Astronauts will continue to work on-board the International Space Station (ISS), and they will even fly NASA’s fresh Orion deep space examination vehicle. Orion would carry the team to space, deliver emergency abort competency, assist the crew at the time of the space travel, and offer safe re-entry from deep space reoccurrence velocities. They might also be sent to a lot of space missions for various purposes such as trips to the moon, the trip to Mars that is scheduled to happen.  

Being an astronaut or spaceman takes remarkable commitment. Astronaut applicants who tend to be chosen in their 40s and 50s typically leave significant careers for a chance at being an astronaut. Training can take long days at work and require significant determination for getting the work done.

There’s also no assurance that they would make it into space. Several individuals aren’t cleared the first time. Even from those screened, several rounds of further tests would filter out a small proportion of candidates who would become an astronaut. This makes it one of the hardest jobs to get. Yet, there are many Americans who have gone on to become successful astronauts.

Skills Required to Become an Astronaut

  • Analytical skills: Astronauts have to think rationally to execute technical studies and experiments. They should be accurate and precise in their examinations as mistakes can have a detrimental effect on their research.
  • Communication skills: Astronauts should clearly communicate with their members in the team. As public figures, astronauts should have experience to talk about the mission, the expectations, and their skills  to the government, the public, or any sponsors.
  • Rational thinking skills: Astronauts should carefully examine their own effort and the work of others. They should check if conclusions and results are correct so that further analysis may be conducted on the samples and the examined research.
  • Listening skills: Astronauts should listen to and examine different methods suggested by other specialists to complete the responsibility at hand.
  • Mathematical skills: Astronauts might have to perform difficult calculations using tools including calculus, algebra, geometry, or other techniques of mathematics. Their research should be able to be backed by mathematical proof so that the ground team can analyse and try to recreate the findings.
  • Mechanical skills: Mechanical skills lets astronauts apply simple engineering ideas and mechanical procedures to the process and operation of various devices that could aid them during space travel
  • Problem-solving skills: Astronauts make use of scientific analysis and observation, as well as creative thinking, to resolve difficult problems. Astronauts might need to analyze any contingencies that arise during space travel and coordinate with the ground crew to avert unnecessary crises.
  • Teamwork: One of the most important skills required in an astronaut is the capability to work properly in a team.

What is the Career Outlook?

Astronauts are selected from NASA from a huge number of candidates with exceptional skills. From the hundreds of applications received, only a few are selected for the intensive Astronaut Candidate training program. Till date only 338 astronauts have been chosen.

Education Required

To become an astronaut, applicants should first be selected for the astronaut applicant program. Among the suitability necessities for program selection are U.S. nationality, at least a bachelor’s degree in biotic science, engineering, computer science, physical science, or mathematics, and an experience of at least 4 years with the aerospace industry.

Eligible applicants are screened, and a shorter list is sent to the next round. After rounds of interviews, they are sent to training grounds where they are subject to a lot of activities that simulate how space would be at the Johnson Space Center before the selection for the program.

The astronaut applicant program takes at least 3 years to complete and comprises teaching in areas like robotics, survival techniques, medicine, and space physiology. Towards the end of their training, they become ready for assignments 

Remuneration of an Astronaut

While NASA is continuously looking for astronauts, the possibility of being selected is about 0.6 percent. As per NASA, astronauts are paid on a grade between GS-11 to GS-14, so the compensation is considerably large. The base salaries of astronauts are usually $77,000 a year. On the other hand, astronauts with experience can earn almost $132,505 per year.

Qualifications for Becoming an Astronaut

The basic experiences for becoming an astronaut is that they should know the International Space Station in and out, from knowing onboard experiments to completing routine maintenance tasks. Below are the basic qualifications each NASA astronaut should have:

  • A U.S. citizenship
  • Bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, engineering, mathematics and physical sciences from an qualified university
  • Once you get the bachelor’s degree you must have two years of related professional experience. Sometimes, depending on the kind of mission intended, astronauts might need Master’s degrees as well.
  • Accomplishment of the NASA space flight physical exam. Their health should be excellent so that they can endure the heavy tolls of space travel
  • Fluency in Russian

Bottom Line

It takes several years to organize a space mission and thousands of individuals are involved in making the spacecraft and training the astronauts. Astronauts are essential for the achievement of a mission. However, given the cost of a mission and the technical expertise required, as well as the ability to troubleshoot, space agencies only want candidates they are sure can meet the requirements of the space mission.