NASA Inundated With Astronaut Applications (Better Luck Next Time)

NASA Inundated With Astronaut Applications (Better Luck Next Time)

More than 18,000 would-be astronauts are fighting for between eight and fourteen slots.

Between mid-December and February 18th, 2016, NASA received about 18,300 applications to join the astronaut program. That is a lot of potential job-seekers vying for one of the eight to fourteen open positions.

So what they're telling me is I still have a chance.

That huge number of applicants is more than three times as many as the space agency received during its last round of hiring, three years ago.

What accounts for the sudden surge? That likely has to do with a renewed public interest in space in the last few years, propelled by scientist celebrities. 2014 saw Neil DeGrasse Tyson's rebooted Cosmos series hit television to acclaim; Commander Chris Hadfield, "Everybody's Favourite Canadian," contributed with his frequent transmissions from on board the International Space Station.

NASA's Selection Board will review every application and interview the top candidates in the next 18 months. Come 2017, we'll know who made it and then the lucky few will begin training to crew the ISS or any of the other space vehicles in service.

Meanwhile, those of us waiting for a "Deep Space Homer" situation to arise will be watching from back here on Earth. If you'll excuse me, I've really got to brush up on my Russian...

Source: Space.com

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I know a few people who applied and I can't believe they thought they where remotely qualified. Ohh you have a masters or Phd... Doesn't mean jack when your looking at graduates of Naval test pilot school with 1000s of hours PIC turbine time along with aformentioned Masters and PHd.

sneakypenguin:
I know a few people who applied and I can't believe they thought they where remotely qualified.

Its really quite incredible how highly qualified you have to be to even be considered honestly. I wouldn't be surprised if an enormous amount of those applications barely even get looked at before being discarded as inappropriate.

There's been a hell of a lot of exposure about astronauts recently here because of Major Tim Peake. I read a very good article about it which basically says step one is you need either several thousand hours actually flying fighter jets with the military or have a PhD and be an actively practicing scientist, ideally in one of Physics, Engineering or Biology. Then you have rigorous basic requirements. Health condition of really any kind that requires any kind of treatment or carries a risk of ever being a real problem? You're out. Major psychological condition? You're probably out. Smoker? You're probably out.

If you don't have perfect vision it becomes harder but not impossible. Same goes for fitness. Surprisingly age isn't so much a factor, they still consider applicants as long as they're under about fifty years of age.

Then after all of that basic filtering they start cutting even more to get down to just a handful.

Technically I probably pass the basic requirements. If in ten to fifteen years time the ESA did a round of applications I might even apply.

PatrickJS:

Between mid-December and February 18th, 206, NASA received about 18,300 applications to join the astronaut program. That is a lot of

Should be 2016?

And for some odd reason, I thought this article was going to be people making IOS apps for NASA astronauts to use during missions...

Makabriel:

PatrickJS:

Between mid-December and February 18th, 206, NASA received about 18,300 applications to join the astronaut program. That is a lot of

Should be 2016?

Pft, don't tell me you're one of those people who deny that NASA was found in the early years of the Roman Empire. How long do you think it took them to fake the moon landings?

Well it needs to be pointed out that while astronauts are a handful there is a staff of thousands to build and support everything they do. So while they can't all be flyboys they can get in on the NASA cake.

If working there is this highly prized, then I wonder why they bother with applications at all. You'd think all the time and resources would be better spent in head hunting the people they want to employ.

sneakypenguin:
I know a few people who applied and I can't believe they thought they where remotely qualified. Ohh you have a masters or Phd... Doesn't mean jack when your looking at graduates of Naval test pilot school with 1000s of hours PIC turbine time along with aformentioned Masters and PHd.

Well, Pilots are nice but they're more replaceable than people with skillsets in other areas. So it might very well be that some degrees and specializations may be seen as much more valuable than someone who doubles as a pilot but with a less useful degree.

image

Honestly though, why does everyone want to be an astronaut? Just be a NASA engineer. You still get the NASA swag and rep and still contribute just as much to it all as astronauts AND I'm sure you make a great amount of money too.

Arnoxthe1:
image

Honestly though, why does everyone want to be an astronaut? Just be a NASA engineer. You still get the NASA swag and rep and still contribute just as much to it all as astronauts AND I'm sure you make a great amount of money too.

Yep, just like I want to work in the NASA IT department just to play some sort of role in the advancement of mankind. But those positions also get flooded.

Arnoxthe1:
Honestly though, why does everyone want to be an astronaut?

Same reason anyone would want to dive for a living as a marine biologist. Or work for the British Antarctic Survey. You get to be part of doing vital and necessary work for the advancement of science whilst also having incredible experiences.

PatrickJS:
What accounts for the sudden surge? That likely has to do with a renewed public interest in space in the last few years, propelled by scientist celebrities. 2014 saw Neil DeGrasse Tyson's rebooted Cosmos series hit television to acclaim; Commander Chris Hadfield, "Everybody's Favourite Canadian," contributed with his frequent transmissions from on board the International Space Station.

The real reason is that they're the only ones hiring in this lousy economy.

 

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