For the first time since 2007, NASA has put out a call for would-be astronauts. Despite its shuttering of the space-shuttle program, the agency needs to beef up its dwindling numbers of space men and women. It posted a job application to USAJobs.com on Tuesday for Astronaut Candidates. Starting salary range: $64,724.00 to $141,715.00.
A report in early September concluded NASA needs to start recruiting or it could face a shortage of flight-ready astronauts within five years. NASA currently employs 59 astronauts, down from 150 a decade ago.
The upside to waiting: they could be the first astronauts to fly on NASA’s planned trips to an asteroid or beyond.
Before you start shining up your space suit, prepare for some job-related discomforts:
— Basic space station training takes 2.5 years, including a seven-month stint in Russia learning the language.
— Stays on the International Space Station can last three to six months. That’s a long time in space.
— You need to maintain a body size that fits into the smaller Soyuz shuttles. So no extra Happy Meals.
While NASA released a video to promote the job, it’s a little too peppy. Thankfully, YouTube user Gavin St. Ours took it upon himself to modify the commercial to make it sound more like a Don Draper advert:
P.S. If the NASA gig isn’t your bag, you could try China. It’s putting the call out for skilled researchers.