If you have ever looked up at the heavens and thought, I could be an astronaut, well you’re in luck, NASA will be accepting applications for its next class of astronauts from 2-31 March 2020 – but there are some hoops to jump through first.
Maybe you've seen astronauts working on the International Space Station, or heard about NASA's plans to send humans back to the moon or maybe you've been following the ongoing exploration of Mars and want to visit the planet for yourself one day!
Whatever your inspiration has been, you know you want to become an astronaut. So, how do you get there, and what can you do to make it possible?
Let's start with the basic requirements:
Not every STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) degree will qualify you to be an astronaut. NASA is looking for people with a degree in engineering, biological science, physical science (like physics, chemistry or geology), computer science or mathematics.
If you're in high school, middle school or even primary school, now is a great time to explore all of these fields of study to help you better understand the ones you like most, the ones for which you might have a natural talent, and even the ones you don't find as interesting.
If you have the ability to choose your elective classes, take the challenging math, science and computer programming courses.
This will help you to learn the fundamentals of science and math. If your school doesn't offer those classes, look online. There are many free online courses covering a wide range of math, science and programming topics.
What else can you do?
These are some of the steps you can take to better prepare yourself as you enter college. They just happen to be some of the same types of things many JPL scientists and engineers did before starting their college careers that led them to a job with NASA.
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