NASA has announced it is accepting applications for its astronaut program.
The agency says it is in anticipation of a return of “human spaceflight launches to American soil, and in preparation for the agency’s journey to Mars.”
The space agency said selected astronauts can expect to fly on up to four vehicles, the International Space Station, two commercially developed craft and NASA’s own Orion deep-space exploration vehicle.
“This next group of American space explorers will inspire the Mars generation to reach for new heights, and help us realize the goal of putting boot prints on the Red Planet,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “Those selected for this service will fly on U.S. made spacecraft from American soil, advance critical science and research aboard the International Space Station, and help push the boundaries of technology in the proving ground of deep space.”
NASA says applicants must have at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics. They must also have at least three years of related professional experience or at least 1,000 hours of “pilot-in-command” flight time in jets.
Applications will be accepted from December 14 to mid-February, but selectees won’t be announced until mid-2017.
Candidates must also pass a “long-duration spaceflight physical.”
Three hundred people have participated in NASA’s astronaut corps since 1959, with 47 currently active.
For more information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/astronauts