Here's 10 Ways Students Can Prepare To Be An Astronaut (Photo Credit: NASA)
Planning to be an astronaut? But don’t know where to start? Here are some ways you can begin your journey. It is to be noted that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has recently announced that it will accept applications for a new astronaut class from March 2 to 31. However, if you don’t qualify to be an astronaut — yet — within NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement, or OSTEM, below are 10 ways to get involved with NASA’s missions.
Becoming an intern is the perfect way to get your start with NASA. Several astronauts started out as interns! Newly minted astronaut Jessica Watkins was selected as a NASA intern while both an undergraduate and graduate student. Log on to intern.nasa.gov for more information.
Did you know that Artemis Student Challenges contribute directly to NASA’s mission? Student Launch, the Human Exploration Rover Challenge, Spacesuit User Interface Technologies for Students (S.U.I.T.S.), Lunabotics, Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams (Micro-G NExT), First Nations Launch and the Big Idea Challenge vary in mission and education levels (middle school to college), and encompass many elements of the Artemis program. Artemis Student Challenges allow you to be creative, take what you have learned in the classroom and apply it to existing space exploration challenges.
NASA EXPRESS is a weekly newsletter featuring updates and opportunities from NASA and the STEM Engagement community. NASA EXPRESS is a great resource for students to explore various STEM opportunities beyond the walls of the classroom.
Sharpen your skills at NASA’s ASTRO CAMP at Stennis Space Center and Space Camp at the US Space & Rocket Center.
According to NASA, there are many myths and misconceptions about what it takes to be an astronaut. Educate yourself on the facts and requirements, and prepare for an out-of-this-world experience — literally.
Keep an open mind! You don’t have to be an engineer or take a specific path to be an astronaut. NASA astronauts come from all walks of life — teachers, doctors, biologists, geologists, service members and more. The most recent class of astronauts reflect this level of diversity. Above all else, make sure you love what you do.
Physical fitness is a big part of astronaut training and daily life in space. Aboard the International Space Station, astronauts exercise two hours per day to keep their bones strong in the microgravity environment. Keep up a healthy lifestyle and workout regimine, or try a new sport. Learn more about how astronauts stay in shape here.
Take time to showcase your hard work and ingenuity outside the classroom. Science and engineering fairs are a great way to not only show off your work, but get inspired by those around you. This year will mark the 10th anniversary of the USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington from April 24 to 26. The 2020 event, themed “Vision for STEM,” will bring students of all ages together through thousands of hands-on activities, shows and opportunities.
Plan for your future. If you want to be an astronaut, obtaining a high-level degree is a must. Astronauts must complete a master’s degree in a STEM field, be working toward a doctorate, or hold a doctorate in medicine or osteopathic medicine. Apply for graduate school and take the next step in your education, preparing for life in space. Another way to qualify is through the completion of an accredited test pilot school program.
Not quite at the collegiate or postgraduate level? It’s never too early to get involved in STEM and take those first steps towards an out-of-this-world career. Choose science, math and programming classes that align with your goals, and join STEM-related clubs and activities outside of the classroom. If your school or community does not offer a club for what you are interested in, start one.