The Washington Post

NASA astronaut ad: Competitive salary, some travel

This could be your office view. (A photo from the International Space Station, or ISS, of east-central Texas) (NASA/Reuters)

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 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.

These could be your co-workers. (They’re the Expedition 28 crew and the STS-135 Atlantis astronauts.) (NASA/AP)

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.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Sleep advice you won't find in baby books
In defense of dads
Scenes from Brazil's Carajás Railway
Play Videos
For good coffee, sniff, slurp and spit
How to keep your child safe in the water
How your online data can get hijacked
Play Videos
How to avoid harmful chemicals in school supplies
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
How much can one woman eat?
Play Videos
What you need to know about Legionnaires' disease
How to get organized for back to school
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom