Skip to main content

NASA offers some tips on how to become a space traveler

NASA has started accepting applications for a new generation of astronauts as it looks forward to an exciting future of crewed missions to the moon, Mars, and possibly beyond.

To spread the word about the out-of-this-world job offer, the space agency posted a video (below) showing astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli answering a few questions about the application process, while also revealing some of the required skills and qualifications.

According to Moghbeli, as part of the interview, you may need to demonstrate your ability to perform the Valsalva maneuver. What the heck’s a Valsalva maneuver?, you may well ask. Well, it’s when you close your mouth, pinch your nose, and gently exhale to equalize the pressure in your ears to ease any discomfort that’s occurring (you’ve probably done it during a flight).

That’s the easy bit.

Besides the ability to pinch your nose and close your mouth at the same time, you’ll also need 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.

Moghbeli also reveals which part of NASA’s Artemis program she’s most excited about, how many hours are needed for astronaut training, what it was like climbing into a spacesuit for the first time, and what she loves most about the job.

Successful applicants can expect to receive between $104,898 and $161,141 in annual pay, but hey, it’s a safe bet most of them would do it for nothing.

“We’re celebrating our 20th year of continuous presence aboard the International Space Station 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,” NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said recently. “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.”

If you feel like a career change, head to this page to apply before the end of March 2020.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Check out NASA’s skywatching tips for April
how to photograph perseid meteor shower night sky with

NASA is back with its regular update on what to look out for in that vast open window above our heads over the coming weeks.

What's Up: April 2022 Skywatching Tips from NASA

Read more
Watch NASA’s video celebrating record-breaking space mission
NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei aboard the space station.

NASA has shared a video celebrating Mark Vande Hei’s record-breaking stay in space.

The astronaut returned to Earth on Saturday after 355 days aboard the International Space Station -- the longest single mission by an American astronaut.

Read more
NASA looks beyond SpaceX for future lunar landers
watch how nasa is prepping to put next humans on the moon astronauts

NASA has announced it’s welcoming lunar lander concepts from commercial companies other than SpaceX, which already has a contract to land the first woman and first person of color on the moon in the mid-2020s as part of the Artemis program.

Accepted designs will be capable of transporting astronauts and equipment between the moon-orbiting Gateway station and the lunar surface as part of NASA’s long-term goal to create a sustainable human presence on the moon, with a view toward using the base as a steppingstone for the first crewed mission to Mars.

Read more