By Stacey Leasca
Updated March 02, 2020
Advertisement

Attention explorers: NASA needs you.

On Monday, NASA announced it is accepting public applications for aspiring astronauts. It is the first time in more than four years that the agency has accepted any new applications for this truly epic job.

James Blair/NASA

“America is closer than any other time in history since the Apollo program to returning astronauts to the Moon,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine shared in a statement. “We will send the first woman and next man to the lunar South Pole by 2024, and we need more astronauts to follow suit on the Moon, and then Mars.”

According to Bridenstine, the team at NASA is specifically looking for “talented men and women from diverse backgrounds and every walk of life to join us in this new era of human exploration that begins with the Artemis program to the Moon. If you have always dreamed of being an astronaut, apply now.”

According to the press release, the agency will select the final round of astronaut candidates sometime in mid-2021. From there, the new recruits will begin their training. Though, NASA does want to warn all applicants that the competition will be stiff. It added, in 2015, when the agency last sought astronaut candidates, more than 18,300 people applied. After all was said and done just 11 astronauts were selected.

“Becoming an astronaut is no easy task, because being an astronaut is no easy task,” Steve Koerner, NASA’s director of flight operations and chair of the Astronaut Selection Board at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, shared in the statement. “Those who apply will likely be competing against thousands who have dreamed of and worked toward going to space for as long as they can remember. But somewhere among those applicants are our next astronauts, and we look forward to meeting you.”     

Those interested in applying need to fill a few basic requirements. Those requirements include holding United States citizenship, have a master’s degree in a STEM field, including engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science, or mathematics. Applicants can also apply who have two years of work toward a Ph.D. program in a related science, technology, engineering or math field, or a completed doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathic medicine degree. Applicants can also apply if they have completed a program from a nationally or internationally recognized test pilot school program. 

If you happen to be selected and finish the program you could then become eligible to live and work aboard the International Space Station or work on the Orion spacecraft, which will dock at the Gateway in lunar orbit before taking NASA’s latest human landing system to the Moon. So, go ahead, take your moonshot and apply here