15. März 2020
NASA is accepting applications through March 31 for the next astronaut class! U.S. citizens may submit applications to #BeAnAstronaut
2020 is the year NASA and our partners will once again launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil. To reach the International Space Station, astronauts could travel in new spacecraft built by NASA’s commercial partners, who will begin launching humans from United States soil this year. Once living and working aboard the orbiting laboratory – which will mark 20 years of continuous human presence in November – astronauts will take part in experiments that benefit life on Earth and prepare us for more distant exploration.
NASA’s Artemis program will land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024, and establish sustainable lunar exploration by 2028. Astronauts will launch on the Space Launch System rocket and new Orion spacecraft, docking Orion at the Gateway lunar outpost before taking a new landing system to the Moon’s surface. Gaining new experiences on and around the Moon will prepare NASA to send the first humans to Mars in the mid-2030s.
To date, NASA has selected 350 astronaut candidates to fly on its increasingly challenging missions to explore space. More are needed to see the space station into its third decade of science in low-Earth orbit and propel exploration forward as part of the Artemis missions and beyond.
The first U.S. astronauts were selected in 1959, before human spaceflight operations began. NASA asked the military services to provide a list of personnel who met specific qualifications. After stringent screening, NASA announced its selection of seven men, all pilots, as the first American astronauts. NASA has selected 22 more groups of astronauts since the “Original Seven.” The backgrounds of NASA’s latest group of Astronaut Candidates include schoolteachers, doctors, scientists, and engineers.
NASA selects astronauts from a diverse pool of applicants with a wide variety of backgrounds. From the thousands of applications received, only a few are chosen for the intensive Astronaut Candidate training program.