Everyone wants to become a NASA astronaut today, and that isn’t a bad ambition – according to Stan Love, a veteran NASA astronaut who has loads of practical advice for potential candidates who want to become a NASA astronaut and blast off to space to explore the universe.
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The first thing astronaut Stan Love wants you to know is that flying to space is for real people and not for robots in sci-fi movies, NASA scientists and astronauts are real people with flesh and blood, they have emotions and eat too – so if they got hired to work with NASA then you too could.
And you apply for a NASA position just like any normal job, and the application will start online next week by February 18, 2016 – it is free and you don’t have to pay a dime.
To work as a NASA astronaut, you must expect to undergo serious trainings that will prepare you for life in space, and these trainings include practicing in numerous simulators, flying in jets, wearing spacesuits to work underwater in a facility much like the International Space Station (ISS), and finally strapping into a rocket and launching off to space to orbit the Earth, visit the moon, and maybe asteroids and Mars at a time to come.
It must however be pointed out that everything about a NASA astronaut is not blasting off aboard a rocket, it largely entails working at the Johnson Space Center in Houston – and commuting daily to work just like any other person. Being a NASA astronaut does not change your family life or who you are, only your schedules are impacted.
Aside working at Johnson Space Center under various conditions, sometimes you might be assigned to go talk to young students at an elementary school about flying, space exploration and engineering, and sometimes you also get to work at the Kennedy Space Center checking that equipment are perfect for launches. And finally you might be selected for a space travel that will transform your life experience about our world.
But getting hired is not easy, and only eight people out of the over 6,000 that applied were taken in 2013, meaning that you must keep on applying every time the opportunity is out to increase your chances of being selected by the NASA selection team.
You will be interviewed several times by the Astronaut Selection Board before you are finally hired, and impressing them to get hired goes beyond interview skills, it has a lot to do with your education and hobby and lifestyle and personal constitution among other things.