Is there life on Mars? How many galaxies are there in the universe? Can we grow potatoes on the moon? Do you know the answers to these questions? Or would you like to find them out yourself? It is possible to do so with ambition, determination, and perseverance. Before that, you must also know what a career in space exploration entails. To help you, we have put together pointers on how to become an astronaut and listed some career opportunities in space sciences.
The term astronaut has its origins in ancient Greek – ástron, meaning star and naútēs, meaning sailor. The words are combined to describe a crew member of spacecraft that travel beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. Now, what do astronauts do? To begin with, they have an important role to play in scientific research. Astronauts work with fellow scientists and engineers from all over the world to build spacecraft and devices that help them explore environments in the universe. They observe and learn about the earth and carry out experiments and research that save lives back on earth.
When not flying in space on a mission, they support other astronauts and their projects. They take up roles that involve designing tools for missions, training the crew, etc. Astronauts typically spend years training for a mission, including six months aboard the International Space Station. Astronauts need plenty of time to readjust and recover from missions as well.
To become an astronaut, a person must be tenacious, resilient, and a team player. Now, these are soft skills. Astronauts need to be experts in their field of study with help of training and practice. Additionally, they need to have experience in flying aircraft and must pass a series of physical examinations – including a swim test and scuba certification. The training and evaluation period for astronauts can last for about two years. Intensive training is required because astronauts must undertake spacewalks, which are one of the riskier activities on a mission.
You can start by gaining extensive knowledge of subjects such as Astrophysics, Biochemistry, Aeronautics, Geology, and Electrical Engineering. Getting a PhD in one of these subjects will give you the necessary qualifications to chart out a career in space exploration.
To become an astronaut, you need to meet the technical and physical requirements. These requirements vary depending on the country. To become an astronaut in India, the following criteria have to be met.
Additionally, if you’re applying to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), then you must meet the following crucial requirements.
If you’re aspiring to become an astronaut at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), then the following conditions apply.
You can also explore opportunities at SpaceX if you can meet the technical and physical requirements mentioned above for ISRO and NASA. Alternatively, you can also explore the following organisations for lucrative career opportunities in India.
Apart from these, organisations such as the Canadian, European, and Japanese Space Agencies also recruit astronauts. You may also apply for employment in various space research laboratories, spacecraft manufacturing firms, or observatories.
Working in space is all about stepping out of your comfort zone for the greater good of humanity in terms of scientific research and development. Cultivating the following skills will help you shine in your space career.
When we think of job roles in space, the first thing that comes to mind is an astronaut. That is because they are the most well-known space workers. It is important to note that space missions require huge teams of workers with a variety of technical skills for them to be successful. Studying the effects of gravity on humans, building powerful telescopes, and simplifying scientific discoveries for the people are some of the responsibilities of working in space. Here’s a list of roles that people can take up in space.
A career in space sciences is rewarding but also challenging. It involves being part of a team on risky missions that push the boundaries of science and technology. The human body undergoes significant changes in space and this adds to the stress of the job. At times, minor mistakes could lead to the loss of lives and money. In addition, scientists and engineers must stay on top of the innovation game in order to do well in their chosen field of work.
However, working in the field of space is a fascinating endeavour. And, you might just be the next person to change the future of humanity. So, would you like to pursue this interesting path? Let us know in the comments below.
1. How many years does it take to become an astronaut?
It would take about 10 years to become an astronaut. This includes 4 years in degree college, 2 years for a master's degree and 2 years professional experience. In addition to this, aspiring astronauts often undergo a training for period of atleast of 2 years.
2. Is there an age limit to be an astronaut?
There are no age limits to becoming an astronaut
3. What should I study to become an astronaut?
It is mandatory for an astronaut to have a bachelor's degree in - Computer Science, Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, or Biology.
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