Astronauts are the people who do stuff related to human space exploration. The best and visible part of their profession takes place while they're working in Earth’s orbit, but maximum time of their profession will be consumed on the ground training and supporting several other operations. Becoming an astronaut is clearly not easy and doesn't happen about overnight. It takes several years of education and training to meet the elementary qualifications. Most people aren't accepted on the very first attempt, either, wanting them to study more to be better prepared for the next attempt. Even then, only a minor percentage of interviewees turn into astronaut candidates, making it a hard job to get. In this article I will focus on the selection procedure for NASA, which implements to American citizens. Although several of the qualifications can be generalized to astronaut programs in different other nations, it's essential to keep in mind that each space agency has its own particular selection procedure.
Non-U.S. citizens in the following geographical regions should look up one of these space agencies for further info on becoming an astronaut:
The required stuff
The first phase to being an astronaut is getting related knowledge in school. There are two key classes of astronaut candidates: military candidates and civilian candidates. Military application procedures vary depending on the division of the U.S. armed forces you are operational for, as you apply through your particular branch. Civilians apply to NASA directly. No matter whatever is the background, NASA wishes its astronauts to have no less than a bachelor's degree in any engineering, biological science, physical science or even mathematics. Many astronauts do have a master's degree and some even a Ph.D. in their field. Few astronauts, such as Story Musgrave (ex-astronaut), have degrees even above that.
It requires more than school to achieve a foothold as an astronaut selection candidate. NASA desires no less than three years of "related, gradually responsible, professional understanding" or no less than 1,000 hours of "pilot-in-command time in jet plane." Advanced degrees are interpreted as equal to this experience, though, with a master's degree at least one year of experience is required and with a doctorate three years of experience is required. A noteworthy concession to these requirements is teachers, who even now must have a practical bachelor's degree but can succeed through the act of teaching. NASA astronaut applicants must also have to pass a tough physical test. Among the requests:
20/20 vision (both naturally or with helping lenses)
Blood pressure rate not more than 140/90 in a sitting posture
A height of between, at least, 62 to 75 inches
Overall, you must be in very good condition to be an astronaut as it's costly to make an emergency coming back to Earth in a situation of medical emergency in orbit. There also are different interviews throughout the selection procedure to work out if a candidate is physically and psychologically capable to work as an astronaut.
Astronaut's path to flight
After selection, folks at NASA do not consider you to be a full astronaut yet. There are two years of elementary training onward in which you are deliberated an "astronaut candidate." The candidates get simple classroom knowledge about the International Space Station and spaceflight usually. They also become trained scuba divers, go through swimming tests, are uncovered to high and low atmospheric pressures, do several test flights in the "vomit comet" and get media and Russian language preparation, and do some other things.
After graduating, several astronauts are not appoint to a flight for several years. They will support other astronauts in orbit serving as a "CapCom" in Mission Control, performing some simulated spacewalks in NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory and grasp additional skills which they will need for their time in orbit. They pass time not hust at NASA, but also international allies with exercise facilities, for example Canada, to study how to work with the station's robotic arm. All astronauts also must uphold flight ability on T-38 aircraft, flying a definite number of hours every month.
As soon as an astronaut is carefully chosen for a flight, the mission exercise takes another at least couple of years. They usually start by simply reading textbooks and get classroom training, then they go through simulation after simulation to pick up the stuff for real. Their exercise takes place all over the world, both separately and with their crewmembers.
A usual spaceflight these days for a NASA astronaut continues for at least six months on the International Space Station, but few astronauts are now being consigned to year-long flights to study more about the human body in zero gravity. So once in orbit, science will take up most of their times.
Learn more: Selection process for NASA