A newly-recruited NASA astronaut’s salary lies between ₹42 lakh and ₹92 lakh per year. The space agency revealed that it received a record 18,300 entries when it invited applications for a new class of astronaut trainees last year, from which only 12 were selected. NASA requires applicants to be graduates in a field of science, technology, engineering or mathematics.
How candidates are chosen
To become a NASA astronaut, applicants must be graduates in a field of science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Post graduation and work experience or at least 1,000 hours clocked in flying jets are necessary parameters for selection.
“Astronaut candidates must also have skills in leadership, teamwork and communications,” NASA says on its website.
About 120 candidates shortlisted are called to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, for the second round: physical fitness tests. They must have good eyesight, height between 5 feet 2 inches and 6 feet 3 inches and stable blood pressure, which shouldn’t be more than 140/90 in a sitting position.
Then, the applicants have to pass an endurance test and a string of interviews.
If you think you’re the right pick, here ‘s a list of job openings at NASA currently.
Training to be an astronaut
The final astronauts selected must complete a two-year training period. The new astronauts have more at stake as the space agency plans to fly farther into space and reach Mars.
“It’s like getting a full four-year college degree compressed into two years,” The NASA’s oldest active astronaut (62) Donald Pettit tells CNN Money. “There are no summer breaks.”
Some of the exercises astronauts are asked to complete in their training include swimming and treading water for 10 minutes while wearing a flight suit, going scuba — as underwater environment is similar to space vacuum — and riding in jets to experience zero gravity, etc.