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  Selecting NASA's 2013 class of astronauts

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Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 09-30-2011 05:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dust off those resumes, and update them: NASA (in bold red letters) says it will in Fall 2011 accept applications for an astronaut class of 2013.

Editor's note: NASA release (Oct. 3, 2011) added.

NASA To Seek Applicants For Next Astronaut Candidate Class

In early November, NASA will seek applicants for its next class of astronaut candidates who will support long-duration missions to the International Space Station and future deep space exploration activities.

"For scientists, engineers and other professionals who have always dreamed of experiencing spaceflight, this is an exciting time to join the astronaut corps," said Janet Kavandi, director of flight crew operations at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. "This next class will support missions to the station and will arrive via transportation systems now in development. They also will have the opportunity to participate in NASA's continuing exploration programs that will include missions beyond low Earth orbit."

A bachelor's degree in engineering, science or math and three years of relevant professional experience are required in order to be considered. Typically, successful applicants have significant qualifications in engineering or science, or extensive experience flying high-performance jet-aircraft.

After interviews and evaluations, NASA expects to announce the final selections in 2013, and training to begin that August.

Fezman92
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posted 09-30-2011 06:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was just wondering when they would have the next class. So how many of us will apply just for kicks? I might. If I didn't have those pesky medical issues, I would have a decent change in 15-20 years from now.

I will graduate college with a degree in Astronomy and a minor in Russian. After that, I plan to work at JPL. I already qualify for the Souyz height requirements as for the weight, I would need to gain a few pounds...

alanh_7
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posted 09-30-2011 07:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If they are looking for upper middle aged out of shape types with no applicable skills whats so ever, I am their man.

issman1
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posted 09-30-2011 08:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For the sake of longevity, no-one over 30 should be accepted. Most of the current NASA Astronaut Corps will be way too old by the time MPCV ever goes anywhere interesting.

mikepf
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posted 09-30-2011 02:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikepf   Click Here to Email mikepf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by alanh_7:
If they are looking for upper middle aged out of shape types with no applicable skills whats so ever, I am their man.
I'm your competition in that category. But we probably shouldn't wait by the phone.

Spacepsycho
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posted 09-30-2011 02:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacepsycho   Click Here to Email Spacepsycho     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
For the sake of longevity, no-one over 30 should be accepted.
The best thing about NASA using us old guys is that we're hard working, easy to train (we know everything already), they can experiment on us because we've had our share of medical issues and we're disposable.

If NASA wants to put me in space, I'll stay up there till my body gives out, so no need to worry about bone loss. When I drop dead, push my butt out of the hatch and allow me to re-enter, creating my own cremation ashes.

Blackarrow
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posted 09-30-2011 07:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A very well-known moonwalker once told me that NASA wasn't really interested in his long-term health. They just wanted to be sure he was good for the time he would be employed as an astronaut. (No, it wasn't John Young!)

p51
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posted 09-30-2011 10:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by alanh_7:
If they are looking for upper middle aged out of shape types with no applicable skills whats so ever, I am their man.
I hear you there. But seriously, I might just fill out the application when it comes. I do have a military background. But most of all, it'd be neat to honestly be able to tell people I tried out to be a NASA astronaut once!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-14-2011 11:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA Kicks Off Application Process For New Astronauts

NASA will announce its process for selecting its next class of astronauts at 1 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at NASA Headquarters in Washington. NASA Television and the space agency's website will broadcast the event live.

NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Assistant Administrator for Human Capital Jeri Buchholz, Flight Crew Operations Director Janet Kavandi and five members of the recently graduated 2009 astronaut class will participate in the announcement. They are Serena Aunon, Kjell Lindgren, Kathleen Rubins, Scott Tingle and Mark Vande Hei.

NASA will recruit the next class through the federal government's USAJobs.gov website.

The class of 2009 was the first astronaut class to graduate in a new era of space flight following the final mission of the space shuttle. A new fleet of human spacecraft is in development by commercial companies to deliver crews to the International Space Station. NASA also is developing spacecraft to send humans on missions of exploration far away from our planet.

These new astronauts will advance research aboard the space station to benefit life on Earth and develop the knowledge and skills needed for longer flights to explore the solar system.

albatron
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posted 11-14-2011 01:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron   Click Here to Email albatron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You wouldn't have to put me in space, just let me get some T-38 time.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-15-2011 12:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA Accepting Applications for Future Astronauts

Do you dream of flying in space? Now is your chance. NASA is accepting applications for the agency's next class for the Astronaut Candidate Program.

Starting today, qualified individuals can submit their applications through the federal government's USAJobs.gov website. Those selected will be among the first to pioneer a new generation of commercial launch vehicles and travel aboard a new heavy-lift rocket to distant destinations in deep space.

"For 50 years, American astronauts have led the exploration of our solar system," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. "Today we are getting a glimpse of why that will remain true for the next half-century. Make no mistake about it, human space flight is alive and well at NASA."

Qualifications include a bachelor's degree in engineering, science or math and three years of relevant professional experience. Successful applicants frequently have significant qualifications in engineering or science; or extensive experience flying high-performance jet aircraft. Educators teaching kindergarten through 12th grade with these minimimum degree requirements also are encouraged to apply.

NASA will accept applications through Jan. 27, 2012. After applicant interviews and evaluations, the agency expects to announce the final selections in 2013. Training will begin that summer.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-15-2011 08:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
NASA recruiting astronauts, apply online

NASA on Tuesday (Nov. 15) began recruiting for its 21st astronaut class. The first group to be sought in the post-space shuttle era, those chosen will be called on to "support the International Space Station (ISS) program and future deep space exploration activities."

"The fact that interest in becoming an astronaut remains extremely high makes it clear, human space flight is alive and well at NASA," said NASA Administrator and former astronaut Charles Bolden at a briefing held Tuesday (Nov. 15) at the agency's headquarters in Washington. "We are extremely proud of the trailblazing accomplishments of our shuttle astronauts over the past 30 years, but with the end of the shuttle program, we're now setting our sights on even more distant horizons."

"We are once again ready to go where no man or woman has gone before," Bolden said. "Some of the astronauts we're recruiting today will be pioneers in our missions to make the first footprints on the surface of Mars."

MCroft04
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posted 11-15-2011 09:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Let's hope Charlie is right.

tegwilym
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posted 11-16-2011 06:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If I apply, will they send me a rejection letter? That could be a cool addition to my collection. I could at least say that I did once apply for an astronaut job!

Fezman92
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posted 11-16-2011 06:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by tegwilym:
If I apply, will they send me a rejection letter? That could be a cool addition to my collection.
I was thinking the same thing.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 11-16-2011 07:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MCroft04:
Let's hope Charlie is right.

Depends on how you interpret his statement. If by "pioneers in our missions to make the first footprints on the surface of Mars," then that is correct: Some of those astronauts will be flying on SLS/Orion (or whatever Orion is called this week.)

If you interpret that to mean some of those astronauts from Group 21 will be making the first steps on Mars, then that's an optimistic maybe. Orion isn't scheduled to make an unmanned flight until 2014 at the earliest. I'm not sure anymore if a definitive date for a manned Mars landing has been set, with all the changes, but given the recent NEEMO mission, it looks like first astronauts will be exploring an asteroid before Mars.

If that's the case, figure 2030s for a manned Mars flight. Which means Group 21 will be at the upper end in terms of age for a Mars flight.

GoesTo11
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posted 11-16-2011 09:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the USAJobs.gov application site:
"Graduation from the Astronaut Candidate Program will require successful completion of the following: International Space Station systems training, Extravehicular Activity skills training, Robotics skills training, Russian language training, and aircraft flight readiness training.
All very 21st-century requirements, but I can guess which one would have guys like Deke Slayton, Gus Grissom, and Al Shepard reaching for their medications.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-16-2011 09:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As was pointed out recently by one of the members of the 2009 class, Russian cosmonauts are similarly required to learn English (and ESA and JAXA astronauts are required to learn English and Russian, if they are not proficient in one or both).
quote:
Originally posted by GoesTo11:
...guys like Deke Slayton
Besides, wasn't Slayton required to learn at least some Russian before he flew on the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project?

GoesTo11
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posted 11-16-2011 09:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All true, Robert. It just struck me, reading those requirements, how different things are today than in the beginning.

KSCartist
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posted 11-17-2011 03:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Different time, different mission.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 11-17-2011 10:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Knowing only the Russian word for 'thank you' (handy for when a cosmonaut signs for you!) I'd be like one of those Americans escaping from a German POW camp: just nodding my head, saluting madly at every one that talked to me.

AJ
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posted 11-17-2011 11:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AJ   Click Here to Email AJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ах, но на этом Rosetta Stone очень удобно!

Fezman92
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posted 11-17-2011 12:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA is the reason why I plan on taking Russian at the 4 year college.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-05-2011 12:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Navy News
Navy Looking for NASA's Next Astronauts

A Navy administrative message (NAVADMIN) released Nov. 30 announced the Navy will begin accepting applications for the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) Astronaut Candidate class of 2013 at Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The Navy NASA Astronaut Candidate selection board #295 is scheduled to convene May 1, 2012. Applications and endorsements are due to Navy Personnel Command no later than March 15, 2012.

"We're looking for people who can perform," said Navy Capt. Lee Morin, M.D., Ph.D., a naval astronaut and former flight surgeon in the Navy medical corps. "We need people who work well with others and represent the agency well, not only to the American people, but to the world. Most important is someone who is a good team player and who's not in it for themselves, or their ego."

Navy Capt. Barry Wilmore, naval astronaut and former Navy test pilot who has logged more than 259 hours in space, said NASA needs someone who has been working in the Navy's operational flow.

"In the role of an astronaut, we do a lot in the design phases of the various programs. But, ultimately, we are operators on the pointy end of the spear," Wilmore said. "And you can receive no better training, I believe, than through a career in the Navy."

The announcement of the astronaut class comes a few months after NASA's last Space Shuttle mission landed, marking the end of a 30-year era of U.S.-led Shuttle missions to the low-Earth orbit of space and the International Space Station (ISS).

The completion of the Shuttle program has opened the door for NASA to continue to send astronauts to conduct research aboard the ISS, and to focus on the next era of space discovery: deep space exploration.

NASA is developing the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, or MPCV, to serve as the exploration vehicle to carry a crew to deep space. For travel to low-Earth orbit, NASA has partnered with commercial partners who are creating contract-use vehicles for travel to low-Earth orbit and to the International Space Station (ISS).

"First and foremost, we still have a space program, and it's going strong," said retired Navy Capt. Christopher Ferguson, naval astronaut and commander of the final Shuttle mission STS-135 aboard Atlantis. "We've got four different companies and four different ideas for commercially-run projects. This will help NASA gain some of the efficiencies, cost savings and innovative ideas that come out of commercial ventures, for a better, cheaper, faster way to get Americans to low-Earth orbit from American soil."

Morin, who served aboard the Shuttle mission STS-110 in 2002 and has logged more than 259 hours in space, currently works in the exploration branch developing the cockpit of the Orion spacecraft. Morin said the Orion and the capabilities it will bring to human space exploration is the key to the future of NASA's space program.

"We can return to the moon, an asteroid, or even a moon of Mars. We've only been to deep space six times, in six moon trips, with the last one in 1973. If we're going to go out and maintain our presence in space, we need to go beyond low-Earth orbit, and the Orion will take us there," said Morin. "This is the next step to space-faring civilization and a sustained presence. Humanity is life's agent."

Current chief of NASA's Astronaut Corps Peggy Whitson, Ph.D., said, philosophically, deep space exploration is important and inherent to whom we are as human beings. From a technological perspective, she said, space exploration benefits us here on Earth, helping us maintain a "technological high."

Whitson also stressed the importance of keeping our current presence in space, specifically aboard the ISS.

"The space program is funded through 2020. We've had 11 years of consistent human presence in space, and that program is still underway," said Whitson, who spent more than a year in space, including a tour as commander of Expedition 16.

From the NASA's construction of the Orion MPCV to the upcoming astronaut class of 2013, it is apparent there is a solid need for not only astronauts, but naval astronauts.

"It's a very exciting time for new people to come to NASA right now because we are still exploring space and have people aboard the International Space Station every day," said Cmdr. Christopher Cassidy, Navy SEAL and naval astronaut. "And the Navy is a big part of that."

The Navy has a long and proud tradition at NASA, said Lt. Cmdr. Reid Wiseman, which sets the tone for strong naval applicants to the astronaut program.

"The first American in space: naval aviator; First man on the moon: naval aviator; Last man on the moon: naval aviator; First American to orbit Earth: Marine Corps aviator; First crew of the space shuttle: two naval aviators; The last crew of the space shuttle: naval and Marine Corps aviators; First commander of the ISS: Navy SEAL," said Wiseman, graduate of the astronaut class of 2009. "The Navy or Marine Corps is always poking its head out in the forefront of the space program."

ColinBurgess
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posted 12-05-2011 01:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think Capt. Morin may have forgotten that we've actually been on eight "deep space" moon trips including Apollo 8 and 10.

FullThrottle
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posted 12-07-2011 12:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FullThrottle   Click Here to Email FullThrottle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What about the perilous voyage of 13? I count 9 total... I can't believe one of the shuttle astronauts doesn't know how many moon trips NASA made or what year Geno took the last steps! Didn't He visit the Saturn V center at Kennedy Space Center while he was there?

747flyer
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posted 12-07-2011 05:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 747flyer   Click Here to Email 747flyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AJ:
ах, но на этом Rosetta Stone очень удобно!
Shouldn't that be "на это"? Or maybe I am misunderstanding it.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-09-2012 10:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA video release

p51
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posted 01-09-2012 09:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I actually did look seriously into this. I'm 42 and a little out of shape, but I could turn that around in a few months (I was an Army officer once and know how to work out). My eyesight is downright comical, but I've read that is no longer the brick wall it used to be.

What my brick walls did turn out to be were the degree and language requirements.

First, I have a degree, but it's not in either mathematics or science. NASA won't take my education even at the basic level.

As for language, I'm from the deep south so it could be argued that I don't even speak ENGLISH very well. I have enough college German to be able to understand the Nazis in most 1960s WW2 movies, but that's the limit of anything other than English. I have a very tough time trying to communicate in other languages even though I can get by in a half dozen other languages. I don't have what it takes to master any one of them, though.

So seeing that I can't see myself going back for a Masters or learning Russian (or really having the time to do either even if I wanted to), I guess I'm done.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-23-2012 11:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
Astronaut Application Deadline Approaching

Individuals interested in becoming America's future space explorers have until Friday to submit their applications. The deadline to apply for NASA's next astronaut class is Jan. 27.

The space agency typically receives as many as 3,500 applicants for each astronaut class. Thus far, NASA has received more than 3,000 applications since November for this class.

"We are excited about the response we have received, and we want to encourage anyone contemplating this dynamic and exciting career to apply," said Peggy Whitson, chief of the Astronaut Office at the Johnson Space Center, Houston. "We are entering a new phase in human spaceflight with amazing opportunities to live and work in space. We want the best, the brightest and the most talented mix of professionals to join our team."

Those interested in applying for the astronaut corps can submit their applications through the federal government's USAJobs.gov website. Qualifications include a bachelor's degree in engineering, science or math and three years of relevant professional experience. Educators teaching kindergarten through 12th grade also are encouraged to apply.

NASA expects to announce the final selections in 2013 with initial training to begin that summer.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-29-2012 01:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The deadline to apply has now passed. According to NASA, more than 5,700 6,372 applications were received, making this year's response the second largest in the space agency's history (1978 was the largest).

Here are the shuttle-era numbers for comparison:

1978
1980
1984
1985
1987
1990
1992
1995
1996
1998
2000
2004
2009
 8,000
3,500
4,900
Used
2,100
2,400
2,300
3,100
2,600
2,600
3,000
2,900
3,500
 applications, selected:
applications, selected:
applications, selected:
1984 register, selected:
applications, selected:
applications, selected:
applications, selected:
applications, selected:
applications, selected:
applications, selected:
applications, selected:
applications, selected:
applications, selected:
 35
19
17
13
15
23
19
19
35
25
17
11
09

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-09-2012 08:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
U.S. Air Force release
AF nominates 111 for astronaut candidate program

The Air Force has nominated 111 Airmen for the 2012 NASA Astronaut Candidate Program, Air Force Personnel Center officials said.

The Air Force candidate selection panel met in April to review 192 applications, selecting 110 officers, ranging from captain to colonel, and one senior master sergeant. Those nominees will compete with other service nominees and civilian applicants for astronaut candidate positions, said Howard Peterson, AFPC assignments directorate.

"Some nominees will be invited to the Johnson Space Center in Houston for interviews, physical examinations, and familiarization," said Peterson. "Commanders need to make sure their nominees are available to meet the NASA interview timelines."

Candidates selected for the NASA program will be detailed to the Johnson Space Center astronaut office for a one-year candidacy program. They will enter the basic astronaut training program, contributing to the development of new NASA launch vehicles and spacecraft, while participating in planning for future human exploration operations. Upon successful completion of the one-year training and evaluation period, Airman astronauts will have a five-year tour of duty with NASA, Peterson explained.

The program is very challenging, so getting to this point in the process required that candidates be rigorously screened and vetted, said Peterson.

"Just to be eligible for consideration, members must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited higher institution in engineering, mathematics, biological science, or physical science. The quality of academic preparation is critical," he said. "Astronaut candidates are challenged intellectually and physically, so only the most qualified will make the cut."

In addition to the right degree, Peterson said, each candidate must have at least three years of post-graduate completion of progressively responsible, professional experience or a minimum of 1,000 hours as pilot-in-command of a jet aircraft. Finalists will be identified in December, and those selected will begin the program in August 2013.

englau
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posted 05-26-2012 12:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for englau   Click Here to Email englau     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ah, I had a teacher who applied every few years to become an astronaut. She made it to the second round once. She had an aeronautical engineering type background and flew planes, so I guess she met some of their marks.

Does anyone know how all of what works? How many "rounds" are they and what do they entail?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-26-2012 09:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For the current selection, the timeline is as follows:
  • May-September 2012: Qualified Applications reviewed to determine Highly Qualified applicants. Qualifications Inquiry form sent to Supervisors/References and civilian applicants contacted by mail to obtain an FAA medical exam.

  • August-November 2012: Highly Qualified applications reviewed to determine Interviewees

  • October-December 2012: Interviewees brought to JSC for preliminary interview, medical evaluation, and orientation. Interviewees will be selected from the Highly Qualified group and contacted on a week-by-week basis.

  • December 2012: Finalists determined

  • January-March 2013: Finalists brought to JSC for additional interview and complete medical evaluation

  • May 2013: Astronaut Candidate Class of 2013 announced

  • August 2013: Astronaut Candidate Class of 2013 reports to the Johnson Space Center

MSS
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posted 05-31-2012 04:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MSS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are the 162 names of semifinalists from US Navy.

Delta7
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posted 05-26-2013 11:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any word of a pending announcement?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-26-2013 12:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The announcement, as I understand it, is still on track for June. The candidates have reportedly not been informed of their selection yet, so it may be toward the latter half of the month.

The class is expected to be small, about 9 or 10 people.

dcfowler1
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posted 05-26-2013 10:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dcfowler1   Click Here to Email dcfowler1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have heard it could even be as small as 6.

Robonaut
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From: Solihull, West Mids, England
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 05-27-2013 06:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robonaut   Click Here to Email Robonaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would be very surprised if it was as few as 6. NASA originally said they were looking for 9 to 15 candidates and I expect it to be nearer the higher of those numbers.

NASA’s Astronaut Corps has less than 50 active astronauts and attrition from it has been running at more than 10 a year for the past three years. Although I would expect it to slow down it will not totally stop.

ISS training takes about 2½ to 3 years and so there are about 12 astronauts in active training. A few others will know where they probably are in the schedule and be doing some preliminary preparation. Other astronauts will be required for ISS support roles. Some will be required to work on the commercial crew vehicles and Orion (a number of these will be management astronauts but not all).

I doubt that NASA would want to have much less than 50 active astronauts and certainly not below 40. Basic training takes two years and by the late-summer of 2015 when the new class finish their training the Astronaut Corps could easily be close to 40 if not below that figure.

If astronaut selections continue to be as spaced out as the last few then I think to select a group as small as six will leave the Astronaut Office short of bodies. Unless, of course they have little faith in either the commercial crew programme or Orion going much further and do not want to have another ‘XS-11’.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-27-2013 09:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robonaut:
NASA originally said they were looking for 9 to 15 candidates and I expect it to be nearer the higher of those numbers.
That was when NASA expected commercial crew to be coming online in 2015. Now that it has slipped into 2017, the needs of the office has changed (or at least shifted right, in terms of years).
quote:
If astronaut selections continue to be as spaced out...
Another astronaut selection is expected in 2015, which, assuming commercial crew is still on track, then would result in a larger class selection.

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