Is becoming an astronaut right for me?
The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:
Still unsure if becoming an astronaut is the right career path? Take the free CareerExplorer career test to find out if this career is in your top matches. Perhaps you are well-suited to become an astronaut or another similar career!
Described by our users as being “shockingly accurate”, you might discover careers you haven’t thought of before.
How to become an Astronaut
Both civilian and military personnel can apply to become astronaut candidates. All astronaut candidates must be U.S. citizens, and must have bachelor's degrees in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics. All candidates must also be able to pass the NASA long-duration space flight physical, which has minimum requirements for visual acuity, blood pressure and standing height.
Non-pilot candidates must have at least three years of related, professional experience. An advanced degree is preferred and may be substituted for experience (a master's degree equals one year of experience, a doctoral degree equals three years of experience). Teaching experience, including experience at the kindergarten to grade 12 levels, is considered to be qualifying experience for the astronaut candidate position.
An advanced degree is also preferred for pilot candidates, as well as at least 1,000 hours pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft. Flight test experience is highly desirable.
Applications from astronaut candidates are screened, and those under consideration are invited to a week-long process of interviews, medical screening and orientation. Selected applicants are assigned to the Astronaut Office at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, where training is held.