NASA will announce its 2021 crop of astronauts which was delayed at least twice due to COVID 19. There were around 20,000 applicants for this arduous job. Which is surprising since the requirements while not super common are not super uncommon either. I tried my luck at being the third astronaut from the tiny village of Bellwood IL. Maybe I still have a shot at getting to pretend to go to Mars in a ground based NASA simulation mission known as CHAPEA. Without a doubt those who are selected are or will be in very rare air. (rimshot)
UPDATE: Here are NASA's New Astronauts.
From Alaska to Florida, the 10 women and men selected for our 2021 astronaut candidate class bring an incredible range of experience—which they'll use as we explore the Moon and expand our presence in low-Earth orbit.— NASA (@NASA) December 6, 2021
Meet the team: https://t.co/P2roLmayhI pic.twitter.com/hyQV4PLKG2
The basic requirements were as follows paraphrasing USA jobs.gov.
A. You must have completed a master's degree (or foreign equivalent) in an accredited college or university with major study in an appropriate technical field of engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science, or mathematics.
B. You must have completed at least two years (36 semester hours or 54 quarter hours) in an accredited Ph.D. in the same disciplines listed above.
C. You must have completed an M.D., D.O. or related doctoral degree (or foreign equivalent) in an accredited college or university.
D. You must have completed or be currently enrolled in a Test Pilot School program (nationally or internationally recognized) and will have completed this program by June 2021
On top of this years of experience in a given subdiscipline. Like 1000 hours of pilot in command of an aircraft experience etc.
This is the video they made for the job announcement .
This is the video from 2017 the last time they hired new astronaut candidates. As you can see they are all SUPER qualified. That said next time around take your chance. You can't win if you don't play.
The Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog mission CHAPEA is a year long experiment in human habitation with simulated MARS conditions of isolation. This will include simulating the up to 20 light minute delay at times between Mars and Earth for all communications. So far in space humans have always been in visual contact with Earth, as well as near real time radio contact. So, NASA will isolate people, who must meet the same basic requirements as astronaut candidates, in this 3d printed habitat. While having them complete simulated Mars exploration science task.
While NASA did open applications to the public it would make total sense to me if they just used astronaut candidates for this. I mean if they are the ones going to actually have a shot at going to Mars. Let's find out if a year of isolation/solitude will drive them nuts first. On the other hand, I could use this for the old resume next time they are hiring astronauts.
PredictionThere will be some so called conservatives who will not be happy that the new class of astronauts features a diverse cast of men and women and even includes two participants from the UAE.