NASA selection begins!

NASA opened the 2015-16 astronaut selection opportunity on USAJOBS. Applications are due February 18, and details are on astronauts.nasa.gov. Good luck to all who apply!

I wrote an article called "The Astronaut Hopeful's Manifesto: An Applicant's Guide" on Forbes with some advice to applicants. Check it out!

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9 comments:

T.J. said...

Great article in Forbes! I'm fairly new to the astronaut game- every kid dreams of it, but it wasn't until the announcement this fall that it clicked that I might actually qualify. Since it has been a bit of a short fuse process, I've been searching frantically for resources and your article was one of the best I've found yet. Reading it makes me feel just a little better about hitting the submit button on the application!
And BTW, are there other resources out there? I checked the astronaut hopeful facebook page and it seemed fairly slow, I am just now looking into astronauts4hire

Anonymous said...

Hi Brian, I have a couple follow up questions:
1) when will the next applicant cycle be after this one?
2) what physical requirements exist outside of the height and vision reqs? (Ie what conditioning or PT is req)
3) if you have zero Russian language ability, how big a knock is it?

BrianShiro said...

Thanks, T.J.! The Astronaut Hopefuls Yahoo Group and Facebook pages (There are actually two of them, one titled "Astronaut Hopefuls" and another titled "Astronaut Hopefuls Development Group.") are both active these days following the new NASA application opportunity announcement. There are several posts each day, and some generate discussions. If you dig into the history of this blog, particularly in 2008-2009, there are some good resources there too. Another one is Brian Mork's description of his astronaut interview in 2000: http://www.increa.com/astronaut-job-interview/ As far as Astronauts4Hire goes, it's a great community to join if you want to roll up your sleeves and get involved at a grassroots level to develop mission opportunities, particularly on commercial space platforms. Another thing I can recommend but forgot to mention in the Forbes article is to read books by astronauts for a good dose of inspiration and tips. "An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth" by Chris Hadfield is particularly appropriate to the budding astronaut hopeful. Good luck!

BrianShiro said...

Hi Anonymous,
1) I have no idea when the next application cycle will be. If recent history is any guide, it will be in four years, so my best guess is 2019-20. Of course, it all depends on the supply and demand for astronauts.
2) I don't know all of the medical and anthropomorphic requirements. As far as I know, there aren't any specific PT requirements. I do know that certain surgeries are disqualifying, though. You could call the astronaut selection office at NASA and ask. Still, I suggest applying anyway. What do you have to lose?
3) Most ASCANs don't know Russian. Sure, knowing it would give you an advantage, but what matters more is that you demonstrate the ability to learn new things so that if you are chosen you can learn Russian.
Good luck!
Brian

TJ said...

Thanks Brian. This is a great site and super helpful. Is there a precedent for anyone to be offered a spot as an astronaut, but then being able to delay matriculation by a year so that they could finish a degree or professional training? It sounds crazy to quit a degree program in year 4 out of 5 but... you have to do what you have to do to pursue your dream!

BrianShiro said...

TJ: As far also know, that has not happened. I do know some ASCANs have finished degrees they started before being selected while they then worked for NASA.

BB said...

Great article! My wife doesn't want me to apply because she says it is too dangerous. How dangerous is it? What are the odds of dying if you are an astronaut? How do you even quantify this? Have you had this conversation with your loved ones??

BrianShiro said...

BB, being an astronaut is definitely a dangerous job. Consider that 19 astronauts have died on spaceflights, and 13 have died during training-related incidents, so there have been a total of 32 fatalities. Out of 552 people who have flown in space, that means there is a 5.8% chance of dying in the line of duty as an astronaut. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics figures from 2013, the next most dangerous jobs in terms of numbers of fatalities are: lumberjack at 0.091%, fisherman at 0.075%, and aircraft pilots at 0.051%. I haven't had this exact conversation with my family, but they know that being an astronaut has been my main goal for most of my life and would support me if I did get the chance.

MooreT said...

Hi! That is the finish of this post.As far as I know, there aren't any specific PT requirements. I do know that certain surgeries are disqualifying, though. You could call the astronaut selection office at NASA and ask.Free Online Articles