How to pursue a career as an astronaut?

In this article, I will explain how to pursue a career as an astronaut. I will also explain if it is possible to become an astronaut, national aeronautics and space administration, recruitment in NASA, qualification requirement, additional qualifications, how to proceed as an Indian aspirant, the huge turn around in the syllabus of astronaut etc. Also, know the future prospective in the professional field of astronauts.

Many of you sometimes think about the point how to become an astronaut. You might have come across names of some famous astronauts who were so much successful in their lives. When you think and discuss astronauts, names like Rakesh Sharma and Kalpana Chawla flashes in your minds like a band of lightning. Rightly so, the fame and success they earned in their lives are really notable. After the unfortunate incident that took place with Kalpana Chawla, people become more curious about this particular field of profession. This might be because a life of adventure attracts and lures one more than a life full of security. Moreover, the success of Sunita Williams, as an astronaut and mission specialist, has also absorbed the attention and love of many to this particular field of profession.

Is it possible to become an astronaut?

The mind of the youngsters are like the oceans which have numerous waves moving one after the other. If you too belong to the group of youngsters, then your mind too will be filled with questions following one after the other very much like the waves of the oceans. When you think of becoming an astronaut, the first question that might come across in your mind is that is it possible to become an astronaut from India? Your second question might be, what is the process involved to become a successful astronaut? Well, the fact is that India, till now, has not arranged or planned about sending any astronaut to the space. But on global basis, most of the space faring nations or their agencies have capitalized on sending their own citizens as astronauts to the space. The only exception to this rule of sending their individual citizens to space is the country America's NASA space flight center.

National aeronautics and space administration (NASA)

Why I wrote that NASA is an exception because though it is an American center by origin it encourages people of different countries to participate as space mission astronauts. Every two years NASA recruit people around the world as space astronauts.

Recruitment in NASA

NASA, recruits applicants in two posts for astronaut training. These posts include pilot astronauts and mission specialist astronauts. Pilot astronauts may work as commanders or pilots. The duties of the commanders include looking after the crew and guarding the space ships. Pilots help commanders in their works of controlling the space shuttle.

Qualification requirement for astronaut

Now, the qualification requirement to be selected as a mission specialist astronaut, you must have a bachelor's degree in engineering, biological science, physical science and mathematics from a recognized university. Besides, a candidate also required three years of professional working experience. But those who are graduate, could apply with a two year of professional experience. If you possess a doctorate no experience is required. A solid academic background is necessary for the post of mission specialist pilot.

You, as an applicant, is also required to pass the physical examination also. Your physical examination would consist of the following.

  • Your power of sight needs to be perfect, either in naked eyes or with specs. The distant visual should not be greater than 20/50 uncorrected and correctable to 20/20.

  • While sitting your blood pressure should be around 140/190.

  • Your height should be between 64 inches to 76 inches tall.

  • Finally, you need to have 1000 hours of flying time in jet aircraft.

  • Additional qualifications

    For mission specialist astronaut, some of the other additional qualificationswhich you require are not mentioned in the written qualification guidelines. But these counts a lot for your successful selection in the process. For example, if you know how to fly planes, you definitely have an edge over other candidates. Even for mission specialist where pilots are not required this extra talent is given due importance by the recruiters. Besides, recruiters favors those candidates who can handle most of the works manually. You need to have the capability of dealing with living in space stations alone because you need to do those works alone once you get selected. Moreover, you need to have a flair for the subjects like mathematics and science. If you have the knowledge of more than one languages, it is most welcome. If you have been a part of scout in schools/colleges, that might give you an extra edge over other candidates. The fact is that 68 percent of the candidates who get selected as astronauts are a part of scout once in their life.

    How to proceed as an Indian astronaut

    This is a very vital question as this deals with a very vital question, that is, how to proceed as an Indian aspirant? You can appear for the entrance examination held by the NASA from time to time as an Indian aspirant. As mentioned before, you need to have a bachelor's degree in engineering, biological science, physical science and mathematics from a recognized university. After that you need to go for a PhD in astrophysics, geophysics or metaphysics from a well known institute like the IIT or IISC. Alternatively, you can find an employment in Indian space research organization (ISRO) as there are many scopes for engineers and scientists. For joining ISRO you need to crack the joint entrance examination held by the IIT's. For more information on ISRO you may visit

    The syllabus of astronauts

    After 21st July 2004, there was a huge turn around in the syllabus of astronauts. Because on that day a non astronaut pilot successfully went to space and landed safely on earth from a private flying agency. The common people also traveled to space for entertainment purposes. In the year 2001, an American business person, Dennis Teto, spent 20 million dollars to experience the excitement and beauty of space traveling. He traveled in a Russian vessel, Soyuz Spice Taxi in a tour of six days. Like this in 20 million space dollars policy America's non-government agencies space adventures co-operated with Russia. Though the conclusion fact is that the 20 million dollars are too big an amount for the people in general to fulfill their dream of traveling into space.

    In conclusion

    Once the International space station project gets completed, the scientific research work will move ahead. The traveling from earth to ISS-A will also increase. Together with this the need for space astronauts will also get much momentum. May be that the space will be a tourist space for humans in times to come. It will also influence science and trade to a great degree globally. This uncommon profession of today might be the most common profession of tomorrow.

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    Guest Author: swagat sahoo20 May 2013

    does i have to pusue a bachelor's degree in engineering, biological science, physical science and mathematics from a recognized university all at a time how????

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