BY: LISA CUMMING
As of Dec. 14, 2015 applications for astronauts have opened up. If you are considering becoming an out-of-this-world explorer, here’s how to apply:
1. A large Canadian ‘sorry’ to everyone who doesn’t hold United States citizenship. A few of you will close this window in extreme frustration, or, if you’re Canadian, with polite distain.
2. If you’re one of the lucky ones who’s gotten to see round two, here’s the next qualifier: you have to at least hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science, or mathematics.
To shrink the pool of applicants even further, here are a list of degrees that just wouldn’t make the cut:
•Degrees in Technology (Engineering Technology, Aviation Technology, Medical Technology, etc.)
• Degrees in Psychology (except for Clinical Psychology, Physiological Psychology, or Experimental Psychology, which are qualifying)
• Degrees in Nursing
• Degrees in Exercise Physiology or similar fields
• Degrees in Social Sciences (Geography, Anthropology, Archaeology, etc.)
• Degrees in Aviation, Aviation Management, or similar fields
3. To those of you still standing, congratulations. To pass on you need at least three years of “related, progressively responsible, professional experience obtained after degree completion.” In other words, alphabet soup. NASA also plans to show preference to candidates holding an advanced degree, and may be substituted for experience according to this breakdown: a master’s degree is equivalent to one year of experience, and a doctoral degree to three years of experience. Teaching, including experience at the K – 12 levels, is also considered to be qualifying experience, but provided that you have the aforementioned alphabet soup.
• If you’re at this point, but don’t hold the key to passing upwards and onwards HAVE NO FEAR, there is over a month until the deadline and only 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in a jet aircraft needed as a substitute.
4. You’ve almost made it. You can taste the inside of that sweaty space suit. The last thing, and arguably the worst for those of us who can’t see two feet in front of our faces or run to save a life…the ability to pass the NASA long-duration astronaut physical. You will be expected to have 20/20 vision in each eye. For this, the use of glasses is acceptable. Applicants must also meet the anthropometric (the science that defines physical measures of a person’s size, form, and functional capacities) requirements for both the specific spacecraft vehicle and the spacesuit.
5. You will also be drug tested.
YAY congratulations you’ve made it!