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NASA Hiring Astronauts

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NASA has invited applications to recruit the next generation of U.S. astronauts.

As part of the Artemis Generation, NASA will train astronauts bound for multiple destinations, including the Moon, Mars and the International Space Station.

2020 is the year NASA and its partners will launch American astronauts on new rockets built in the United States from American soil to reach the International Space Station for experiments that benefit life on Earth and prepare 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. Gaining new experiences on this mission will prepare NASA to send the first humans to Mars in the mid-2030s.

NASA said in a press release that with 48 personnel currently in the active astronaut corps, more will be needed to crew spacecraft bound for multiple destinations and propel exploration forward as part of Artemis missions and beyond.

"We're celebrating our 20th year of continuous presence aboard the International Space Station in low-Earth orbit this year, and we're on the verge of sending the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

The U.S. space agency will accept applications from March 2 to 31 for the next class of astronauts.

From the thousands of applications received, only a few are chosen for the intensive Astronaut Candidate training program.

The basic requirements to apply include U.S. citizenship and a master's degree in a STEM field, including engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science, or mathematics, from an accredited institution.

The requirement for the master's degree can also be met by two years of work toward a Ph.D. program in a related science, technology, engineering or math field; A completed doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathic medicine degree; and completion (or current enrollment that will result in completion by June 2021) of a nationally recognized test pilot school program.

Candidates also must have at least two years of related, progressively responsible professional experience, or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft. Astronaut candidates must pass the NASA long-duration spaceflight physical.

After completing training, the new recruits could launch on rockets and spacecraft developed for NASA's Commercial Crew Program to live and work aboard the International Space Station.

NASA said it expects to select the new class of astronaut candidates in mid-2021 to begin training.

The first U.S. astronauts were selected in 1959, before human spaceflight operations began.

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