Job opening: NASA hiring new astronauts for moon and Mars missions

If you’re looking to break out from the 9-to-5 grind and feel like a dramatic career change, then check out NASA’s latest job posting.

The space agency is looking to hire and train the next generation of space travelers for missions to some pretty exciting places.

In an announcement on Tuesday, NASA said it needed the new recruits as it gears up “to launch American astronauts this year on American rockets from American soil to the ISS — with an eye toward the moon and Mars.” Applications will be accepted from March 2 through 31.

In a video (below) designed to get people interested, some of NASA’s current crop of astronauts talked about what it takes to become a space traveler. Warren Hoburg, for example, said you need three things: technical skill, operational skill, and “being fun,” while most of the others noted the importance of being an excellent team player.

Other perhaps harder-to-come-by requirements include a master’s degree in a STEM field from an accredited institution, though the requirement for the master’s degree can also be met by:
• Two years of work toward a Ph.D. program in a related science, technology, engineering, or math field;
• A completed doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathic medicine degree;
• Completion of a nationally recognized test pilot school program by June 2021.

“We’re celebrating our 20th year of continuous presence aboard the ISS in low-Earth orbit this year, and we’re on the verge of sending the first woman and next man to the moon by 2024,” said NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine. “For the handful of highly talented women and men we will hire to join our diverse astronaut corps, it’s an incredible time in human spaceflight to be an astronaut. We’re asking all eligible Americans if they have what it to takes to apply beginning March 2.”

NASA expects to make its final selections in mid-2021, after which the new recruits will begin a period of intensive training before joining the Artemis program, NASA’s spaceflight program that’s currently focused on the 2024 moon mission.

Got a deep interest in space but don’t have what it takes to become an astronaut? Then check out these related opportunities for more inspiration.

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