Houston, We Have A Job Listing: NASA Is Hiring New Astronauts

Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
It may finally be time to make those Space Camp dreams come true: NASA is hiring new astronauts. The application process will open up on December 14, 2015, and NASA expects to announce the new class of space explorers by 2017.

Americans with a background in engineering, math, science, or technology and at least three years of related professional experience are encouraged to apply. The next generation of space pioneers will be involved in initiatives like the International Space Station, commercial space flight, and the first human mission to Mars.

Of course, competition will be fierce: There have only ever been 300 astronauts total, and there are only 47 currently active. As the Washington Post reports, the last time NASA put out a call for applicants, over 6,000 people applied — and only eight were chosen. That's an acceptance rate of around 0.1%.

Before you count yourself out, though, keep this in mind: Women are far less likely than men to apply for a job if they don’t think they meet 100% of the stated qualifications. Don't let the pre-reqs hold you back. (How amazing would it be if 50% of the newest NASA applicants were women?)

Throw your hat in the ring, and you could be one of the first people to put boot-prints on the Red Planet. The rest of us — the ones who got sweaty palms just watching the Gravity trailer — will be rooting for you down here on Earth.
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