HomeNewsNASA: Here’s What the Main Requirements Are to Go to Space

NASA: Here’s What the Main Requirements Are to Go to Space

by Madison Miller
Photo by: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to get blasted into space?

As most people know, it’s no easy mission to get up into space. In order to become an astronaut, you need extensive training and several inherent qualities that’ll make you a good fit for the job. Several young children play with toy spaceships, stare up at the moon longingly, and dream about wearing that big puffy suit and bouncing off the walls of a spacecraft.

Sadly, many kids grow out of this dream or are unable to make it a reality.

If you take a look at the US space agency website, you can find out what requirements you must meet to get a shot at going into space.

The first requirement is a person must be a U.S. citizen to fly with NASA crews. Also, you’ll need to have a master’s degree in a STEM field from an accredited institution. This could be anything like biological science, engineering, physical science, mathematics, or computer science.

A degree alone isn’t going to get you anywhere though. You’ll also need two years of professional experience or 1,000 hours as a pilot-in-command on an aircraft. On top of education, your body will need to be able to withstand the grueling pressures of being out in space.

You’ll need to pass the ultimate NASA test — the long-duration flight astronaut physical. A future astronaut will be tested on their overall eye coordination, vision, body coordination, and overall health.

They go as far as only taking astronauts into space that are of a certain weight and height. Most astronauts weigh about 110 to 209 pounds, which is a fairly large scale. They’ll measure about 149 to 190 centimeters in height as well. The sad part is that certain requirements are things people can’t even control.

The Final Parts of NASA Astronaut Application Process

To make matters even more difficult, the last part of the application process is the hardest. If you meet all those requirements and pass the tests, your application goes to the NASA Astronaut Selection Board. With tens of thousands of applications, only a few even make it through.

Then you have interviews at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Half of that group makes it back for a second interview. After that final interview, a select few get a prestigious invite to a two-year training course. This is where you get to learn all the fun parts of being an astronaut that we’ve all dreamed of at some point (moonwalking on the actual moon is the dream of all dreams).

Even with training, very few get to go out into the deep dark abyss that is space.

There are plenty of other tasks at NASA that need to be taken care of besides being the one to spacewalk through space. Some of those incredibly intelligent people are needed to work as a scientist at the International Space Station, for instance.