If you like to travel, don’t mind wearing bulky, uncomfortable clothing, living in small confined spaces with other people for months or years, you might consider being an astronaut.
If your interest in space travel was prompted by watching “Star Trek” as a child, keep in mind that your space suit will not be a polyester/spandex jump suit, and women astronauts will not be required to wear Go-Go boots and beehive hairdos.
That’s the good news. On the other hand, only highly skilled applicants with specialized education can qualify to enter NASA’s space program, and fewer still will make it into space. NASA has published a set of requirements for applying as an astronaut, so if you fit the basic requirements – go for it!
- You must be between 5 feet 4 inches and 6 feet 4 inches tall to be a pilot and between 4 feet 10.5 inches and 6 feet 4 inches to be a mission specialist. You also need to be in top physical condition and have great stamina.
- Have an excellent academic record in undergraduate and graduate studies. Hint: many astronauts have doctoral degrees.
- Choose a scientific field for your bachelor’s degree: such as medicine, biology, chemistry, physics, aerospace engineering and mathematics. Proficiency with phasers is not required.
- You must have at least 3 years of experience or a 2-year graduate degree with 1 year of experience.
- A mission pilot must have at least 1,000 hours flying jet aircraft.Musi
- Commit to 1 to 2 years of intensive training, including survival training and scuba diving.
In any case, there is no guarantee you’ll ever get into space. So if you really want to encounter strange environments and alien life forms; go to a Heavy Metal concert.