NASA is hiring its next class of astronauts for a mission to the Moon - but there's a catch

By Lynn Rusk
Thursday, 13th February 2020, 5:19 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th February 2020, 5:20 pm

Those who dream of exploring space may have a chance to reach the Moon, as NASA launches a fresh recruitment drive.

NASA is planning to reach the South Pole of the Moon by 2024 and hopes to send a woman there for the first time, along with another man.

The space agency is accepting applications from 2 March to join its Artemis Generation, which aims to land on the moon again and eventually Mars.

The only catch is you have to be a US citizen (as well as meeting various other professional and academic criteria).

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    Artemis Mission

    “For the handful of highly talented women and men we will hire to join our diverse astronaut corps, it’s an incredible time in human spaceflight to be an astronaut. We’re asking all eligible Americans if they have what it takes to apply beginning March 2,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a news release.

    Since the 1960s, NASA has selected 350 people to train as astronaut candidates for its increasingly challenging missions to explore space.

    With 48 astronauts in the active astronaut corps, more will be needed to crew spacecraft bound for multiple destinations and propel exploration forward as part of Artemis missions and beyond.

    NASA said the new astronauts could live and work aboard the International Space Station, and take part in experiments that prepare for more distant space exploration.

    Or they could launch a new spacecraft and dock at Gateway, the new spaceship that NASA is planning that will orbit the moon.

    Mars Mission

    Those exploration efforts will hopefully help the agency prepare to send people to Mars in the mid-2030s, NASA said.

    If you think you've got what it takes, you can apply on the USAjobs website from March 2 to 31.

    Those interested in applying will need to be a US citizen and have an advanced degree in a STEM field, along with at least two years of related professional experience or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft.

    Candidates will also have to pass the NASA long-duration spaceflight physical and an online assessment.