Bored at your job? NASA is looking for new astronauts

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The job of astronaut may require some travel.
The job of astronaut may require some travel.
Photo: NASA/Flickr CC

When companies list “frequent travel may be required” in their job postings, they usually mean flying business class to the annual convention in Omaha and staying at the airport Ramada.

It’s a good business practice to let candidates know this up front — especially when the company doing the hiring is NASA and the openings are for astronauts.

NASA announced Monday it is looking for people with the Right Stuff for work aboard the International Space Station and flights in new commercial spacecraft and well-traveled Russian Soyuz ships. Oh yeah, a trip to Mars is said to be in the works.

U.S. citizens have until Feb. 18 to submit an application and NASA expects to announce its new class of hires by spring 2017.

More of us may be qualified than we realize. According to NASA, it did a scan on LinkedIn and estimates some 3 million people have the academic and job qualifications for eligibility to apply.

Trips to the moon are 20th-century history. The Space Shuttle program flies in museum attractions. But space travel is far from over. There are more new human spacecraft in development in the U.S. than any other time in history, NASA said. Future crews will set new records for deep-space travel.

It was just another day at the office in February 2007 when astronauts Sunita L. Williams and Michael A. Lopez-Alegria prepared for a space walk on the International Space Station.
It was just another day at the office in February 2007 when astronauts Sunita L. Williams and Michael A. Lopez-Alegria prepared for a space walk on the International Space Station.
Photo: NASA/Flick CC

Applicants can expect a lengthy interview process that will include several pre-employment tests. Minimum academic requirements include a bachelor’s degree in engineering, biological science, physical science or math from an accredited institution. Also, a candidate should have at least three years experience in the related fields, however, advanced degrees can be substituted for work experience. Oh, 1,000 hours or more in a jet aircraft as a pilot in command is also attractive.

There will be a bevy of physical tests. Candidates, for example, will have to pass both drug and swimming tests.

The pay is decent, but you won’t be rich like a professional athlete. The pay range is $66,026 to $144,566. Presumably, other benefits, such as Life Insurance, make the compensation package attractive.

If all goes well, you’ll still see Omaha. Just from 250 miles from above.