How To Become an Astronaut (With Steps, FAQs and Related Careers)

Becoming an astronaut is a life-long dream for many, but the path to becoming one doesn’t come easy. Astronauts are highly trained professionals who must have the right combination of education, experience, and physical and mental abilities to qualify for a mission. But if you have the determination and dedication, you can make your dream a reality. Here’s how to become an astronaut.

Steps to Becoming an Astronaut

1. Get a college degree. Astronauts must have at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering, biological science, physical science, or mathematics.

2. Acquire experience in a related field. Astronauts must have at least three years of related work experience or 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in a jet aircraft.

3. Get in shape. Astronauts need to pass a physical fitness test and have a good overall health record.

4. Apply to a space agency. The two main space agencies in the United States are NASA and the United States Air Force.

5. Pass the selection process. Once you’ve submitted your application, you’ll need to pass a series of assessments, including a written exam, medical and psychological tests, and interviews.

6. Complete the training program. After you’ve been selected, you’ll need to complete a rigorous training program that usually lasts 18-24 months.


Q: What is the age limit to become an astronaut?
A: Applicants must be between 18 and 59 years old when they apply.

Q: Do astronauts get paid?
A: Yes, astronauts are paid a salary based on their rank and experience.

Related Careers
If you’re interested in a career related to space exploration, there are plenty of other options. Here are a few of them:
• Aerospace Engineer: Aerospace engineers design and develop aircraft and spacecraft.
• Aerospace Technician: Aerospace technicians build, test, and maintain aircraft and spacecraft.
• Astronomer: Astronomers use telescopes and other instruments to observe and analyze the universe.
• Space Scientist: Space scientists study the physical and chemical makeup of space and its environment.
• Pilot: Pilots are responsible for flying aircraft and spacecraft.   

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