NASA astronaut selection timeline update

NASA will take an extra month to whittle down its approximately 400 Highly Qualified applicants to the 100 or so it plans to interview. That's what I infer from from the latest update to the Astronaut Candidate Selection Process Timeline. Interviewees will now be brought to JSC through January instead of December, with finalists determined by February and the new ASCAN class announced by June. These changes are noted by the red color in the updated table below. The report date for the Astronaut Candidate Class of 2013 remains August 2013. Good luck, everyone!

November 15, 2011 Vacancy Announcement opens at USAJOBS.
January 27, 2012 Vacancy Announcement closes.
May-September 2012 Qualified Applications reviewed to determine Highly Qualified applicants. Qualifications Inquiry form sent to Supervisors / References and civilian applicants contacted by mail to obtain an FAA medical exam.
August-December 2012 Highly Qualified applications reviewed to determine Interviewees.
October 2012-January 2013 Interviewees brought to JSC for preliminary interview, medical evaluation, and orientation. Interviewees will be selected from the Highly Qualified group and contacted on a week-by-week basis.
February 2013 Finalists determined.
February-April 2013 Finalists brought to JSC for additional interview and complete medical evaluation.
June 2013 Astronaut Candidate Class of 2013 announced
August 2013 Astronaut Candidate Class of 2013 reports to the Johnson Space Center.

Here is a fun piece of trivia for you. Who completed the first triathlon in space, and when? The answer is that Sunita Williams completed the Nautica Malibu Triathlon from her perch on the ISS last weekend on September 16. She used the station's stationary cycle and treadmill for the bike and run portions. Since there is no swimming pool on the orbiting outpost, Williams simulated the swim portion with some strength training exercise equipment. This isn't her first time as a virtual racer. You may recall that she ran the Boston Marathon from the ISS back in 2007. Here is the video coverage from NASA TV:


Norman Copeland said…
Good luck... Good c.v building...

[Senior Mine Geologist - FIFO - Sasketchewan]

Anonymous said…
Brian, love coming to your site for updates. I come here before going to NASA's websites to get ASCAN info. Appreciate all of this, please keep it up!
Anonymous said…

Since you have applied to be an astronaut, you may know the answer to this question.

Can you only apply to be an astronaut when NASA issues an official call, like what happened last December? Or can you apply at any time?

I saw that in some of the current astronaut bios - some of them applied 30 times or more! That would not be possible on an every 4 year time scale since these people are still in their late 30s.

BrianShiro said…
Kris, throughout the 1980s and 1990s, NASA accepted rolling applications and made selections approximately every two years. In 2000, NASA shifted to an approximately 4-year interval between selections. Starting in 2004, they shifted their application procedure from being paper-based to being online and stopped taking the rolling applications.

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