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NASA seeks astronauts for training and Mars landing: How to earn $152,000

NASA seeks astronauts for training and Mars landing: How to earn $152,000 NASA has opened a recruitment drive for astronauts (photo: Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

Not everyone can become an astronaut today. Recently, NASA has started recruiting a new group of astronauts, the best of whom may get a unique chance to travel not only to the Moon but also to the Red Planet.

Sources used:, NASA.

Who is being sought by NASA?

According to a job posting on a specialized portal, NASA is looking for astronaut candidates.

Prospective candidates are invited for an interview at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

Those lucky enough to be selected will spend about two years learning the "basic skills needed to become an astronaut" - from robotics and spacewalking to "leadership and teamwork skills."

After completing the training, these people:

  • will be able to join the "current astronauts squad"
  • will be eligible for space flight assignment

"Before being assigned to a space flight, they will have responsibilities in the astronauts' office, ranging from supporting their fellow astronauts in space to advising on the development of new spacecraft," the post says.

What salary is promised?

The announcement states that the estimated salary level as of 2024 could be about $152,258 (per year).

"These rates will be adjusted to reflect any increase in 2025," the employers add.

It is specified that potential candidates for the position may "apply for reimbursement of relocation expenses under agency policy."

"Selected astronaut candidates will receive 30-month limited-term appointments and will be offered permanent appointments upon successful completion of training," the post says.

NASA seeks astronauts for training and Mars landing: How to earn $152,000Both men and women dream of working in space (screenshot:

Who can become an astronaut?

There are strict requirements for candidates for the position. To become a NASA astronaut candidate, you need to

  • hold a master's degree in STEM (including engineering, biological sciences, physics, computer science, or mathematics) from an accredited educational institution
  • have at least three years of relevant professional experience after graduation
  • have 1000 hours of flight time for pilots, at least 850 hours of which must be in jet aircraft
  • successfully complete the grueling physical training for NASA astronauts
  • be a US citizen.

It is clarified that the requirement for a master's degree can be fulfilled by alternative qualifications, such as two years of study in a relevant doctoral program, a medical degree, or enrollment in a nationally recognized test pilot training program.

In addition to academic and professional qualifications, candidates must demonstrate the necessary leadership, teamwork, and communication skills.

Main responsibilities of astronauts

Astronaut candidates need to understand that only a fraction of all applicants will be selected at the first stage of the interview - they will be selected for the second stage of selection.

Ultimately, only a few of the best candidates will become NASA astronauts.

It is specified that the main responsibilities of an astronaut include:

  • conducting operations in space, in particular on the International Space Station (ISS)
  • development and testing of future spacecraft
  • off-ship activities - work outside of spacecraft, space stations, and on planetary surfaces
  • use of a robotic remote manipulator system
  • participation in the development and testing of future extra-vehicular and robotic activities
  • conducting research experiments (including on animals)
  • participation in the work of the aircraft/spacecraft crew (including flight planning and communication)
  • performing spacecraft maintenance activities
  • ground support tasks during the preparation of astronauts for space flights in the Mission Control Center
  • participation and evaluation of mission simulations that prepare astronauts for coordinated teamwork and operations in a dynamic space environment
  • support the development and execution of human spaceflight programs or other agency activities
  • protecting the interests and safety of all astronauts as part of decision-making teams that oversee current and future spacecraft designs, testing, and operations
  • serve as a NASA spokesperson (speaking in the US and abroad to communicate NASA's discoveries and goals)

How to apply?

To apply for selection and become an astronaut candidate, you must:

  • read the announcement and all available instructions
  • create and add a resume using the USAJobs resume builder
  • fill out the initial online application and questionnaire
  • attach all the necessary documentation (the list is available in the "Required Documents" section)
  • submit all the necessary information and documents on the portal by the registration deadline of April 2, 2024.

Earlier, we wrote what the spacecraft that will send astronauts to the Moon looks like.

Read also what the prototype of the Neptune capsule for space tourism looks like.