In a process spanning from March 2 to March 31, the NASA Astronaut Selection Board will evaluate the qualifications of the 12,000 applicants who want to join the next NASA class of astronauts, who will participate in missions to explore the Moon and then reach Mars .
NASA hopes to introduce the new astronaut candidates in the summer of 2021.
On this occasion, NASA has increased the education requirement for applicants from a bachelor’s degree to a master’s degree in a science, technology, math, or engineering field. As NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine explains:
We have entered a bold new era of space exploration with the Artemis program, and we are delighted to see so many amazing Americans join us. The next class of Artemis Generation astronauts will help us explore more of the Moon than ever before and lead us to the Red Planet.
Once selected, astronaut candidates will go through approximately two years of initial skills training, such as spacewalks, robotics, and spacecraft systems.
Starting in 2024, NASA will send the first woman and the next man to the lunar surface and establish a sustainable lunar exploration by the year 2028 . NASA also hopes to send the first humans to Mars in the 2030s.
At NASA, candidates have no age restriction. The applicants are in the ranges of 26 and 46 years. The average is 34 years. If you want to be an astronaut, you can apply to join the NASA Astronaut Candidate Program. It is not necessary to be born in the United States, but it is required to have US citizenship. NASA opens opportunities for applicants with dual citizenship and has international agreements with Canada, Japan, Brazil and Europe.