Wanted: Moon and Mars explorers … NASA starts the recruiting process for next wave of astronauts

NASA says it’ll take applications for its next class of astronauts between March 2 and 31 — the first step in what’s expected to be a yearlong selection process.

  • To start the process, would-be spacefliers should click into USAJobs.com next month. For the first time in NASA history, applicants will be required to fill out a detailed online assessment that could take as long as two hours to complete.
  • The basic requirements, laid out in today’s announcement, include U.S. citizenship and a minimum level of advanced STEM training or test-pilot experience. NASA expects to select the new class of astronaut candidates in mid-2021, which just about the time set for NASA’s uncrewed Artemis 1 mission beyond the moon and back.
  • The next class of astronauts will be in on NASA’s campaign to put astronauts on the moon by as early as 2024 in preparation for future trips to Mars. The last time NASA opened up an astronaut recruiting round, in late 2015, more than 18,300 people applied for what turned out to be a dozen spots.

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