NASA has begun taking applications for prospective astronauts to join the U.S. space program, potentially making a lifelong dream come true for a few lucky people.
You can read the full job description – and start the application process – by clicking here. As you can imagine, there is a lot of interesting information to be found there. For instance, did you know that the salary range for an astronaut candidate is between $66,026.00 and $144,566.00 per year? And of course, the "openings" for this position are in Houston, Texas, which may be viewed as a downside of this job. Still, if accepted you could be in line to go into space and potentially live aboard the International Space Station or take part in another manned mission at some point.
The application indicates that there are now more manned spacecraft in development in the U.S. than at any other time in history. In fact, astronaut candidates could travel not just on the ISS, but two commercially developed spacecraft, as well as NASA's very own Orion deep-space exploration vehicle which could one day take us to Mars.
Obviously the competition for the few astronaut positions that are open will be tough, and the vast majority of us have no chance. But, you never know what kind of people NASA will be looking for to take part in the next phase of manned space flight. Those with backgrounds in science will obviously be best suited for the job, but those with experience in technology, aviation, exercise physiology, and nursing are also encouraged to apply.
There is a lot more to the job description and application process, so if you're interested, I'd encourage you to read more about the requirements. Even if you know you're not bound for space, it still makes for an interesting read.