In the late 1960s and early 1970s, if you asked young boys what they wanted to be when they were adults many said astronauts. This was because the excitement of the first moon landing was still fresh in the minds of most. These days, many youngsters – both male and female – still have an interest in this type of career. This is something that offers excitement, adventure, and incredible experiences. So, what do you have to do if you are interested in a career as an astronaut?
Well, one thing you have to remember is that becoming an astronaut will require a lot of hard work and dedication. This is not an easy career to get into and it requires a huge amount of studying. Even then, only a small percentage of applicants are successful so you need to ensure you are in it for the long haul.
What you need to become an astronout
The first thing you have to do is work hard at school, particularly when it comes to subjects such as mathematics and sciences. Why? Well, NASA demands certain qualifications from its would-be astronauts, which includes a degree in a subject such as biological science, engineering, or mathematics. So, you need to be able to get into a good university and ace your degree. A lot of astronauts actually have a master’s or even a Ph.D.
Now, one thing that may be a concern is funding for education – those from less privileged backgrounds may not be able to afford the fees. However, there may be educational programs and grants available, so this is something that is worth looking into.
The physical side
It is not just the educational side of things that you need to consider when it comes to a future as an astronaut. You also have to meet the physical requirements, which are very important. This includes minimum/maximum height requirements (62-75 inches), healthy blood pressure reading, and 20/20 vision (with or without corrective lenses). Psychological testing is another area that will be addressed, and this is something that will be assessed through interviews and as part of the medical.
If you do meet the qualification and health requirements, and your application is successful, you will still have to undergo training before you are classed as an astronaut. This includes two years of training as a ‘candidate’. During this period, you will be trained in a wide range of activities including scuba diving, water survival, and exposure to different atmospheric ranges.