Wanna work in space?

Wanna work in space?

Wanna work in space?

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Sept. 30 2011 2:40 PM

Wanna work in space?

Looking for a change of pace? Your day-to-day, 9-5 job making you feel like you're glued to the ground?

Then maybe you need a new job. And maybe you should talk to NASA: they're looking for more astronauts.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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The astronauts of the 21st century will help NASA through the next phase of space exploration as we continue the work of U.S. astronauts aboard the International Space Station in cooperation with our international partners; build a new NASA vehicle to enable human deep space exploration; and partner with industry to foster development of a commercial capability for human space flight to low Earth orbit.

NASA WILL ACCEPT APPLICATIONS IN THE FALL OF 2011 FOR AN ASTRONAUT CANDIDATE CLASS OF 2013.

I know some people will snark about this, saying why bother applying when NASA doesn't even have a rocket to take humans into space? But that's not the right way to think about this for several reasons:

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1) NASA is planning on building a new rocket system;

2) NASA can hitch a ride with other countries like Russia until then (just as other countries did with us);

3) Private companies are building rockets, and you can be pretty sure NASA will pay to ride with them.

And of course training to be an astronaut isn't like training to deliver pizzas*. It takes years, so if you want to get into space later it means getting into training now. There are no guarantees, of course. But now you know where to start.

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Tip o' the spacesuit visor to Damaris Sarria.



* ... a job I had for several years, and which does have some superficial similarities to being an astronaut: you wear uncomfortable clothes, you're away from your base a lot, and when you get home you smell vaguely of mozzarella.