If you ever wanted to jet off to space, your chance has finally arrived.
NASA just opened applications for its newest class of astronaut recruits and will be accepting submissions until March 31 at 11:59 p.m. But don’t get too excited — there are numerous guidelines applicants have to meet, such as the agency’s education and specialized experience requirements.
NASA says the application process is a multi-stage one and will involve multiple evaluations. They’ll judge how well applicants communicate information in written, oral and visual media; make informed decisions; stay motivated; employ complex technical information and their ability to work well with others.
Candidates in the final stage of the application process will undergo interviews, medical and psychiatric screening, as well as additional assessments.
For the lucky few who make it through the process, they will still have to complete the Astronaut Candidate Program, which requires completion of training in spacecraft systems, extravehicular activity, Russian language abilities, aircraft flight readiness and team skills, among others.
After getting hired, recruits can look forward to a salary of about $104,000 to 161,000 per year (with the added perk of going to space, of course).
“Astronaut candidates will spend approximately two years training on the basic skills required to be an astronaut — from spacewalking and robotics to leadership and teamwork skills,” reads the job description on NASA’s website.
“Upon completing training, they will join the active astronaut corps and become eligible for spaceflight assignment,” the posting continues.
Dmitri Lovetsky/AP/REX/Shutterstock The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz MS-10 space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station
Until they are assigned to a spaceflight, recruits will have responsibilities including supporting fellow astronauts in space and advising on the construction of new spacecraft.
According to Space.com, NASA only picked 12 people out of 18,300 applicants during their last selection in 2017. One of the finalists resigned during training.