NASA is hunting for people to send to the space station, launch to the Moon, and possibly fly to Mars.
The US space agency has announced it will accept applications for its latest class of astronauts next month, the 23rd group to be selected over the past 60 years.
For the first time ever, Nasa will require wannabe spacefarers to have a master's degree in the sciences, maths or engineering.
Previously, applicants only needed an undergraduate degree in those subjects.
Nasa also demands that candidates have 20/20 vision (eyeglasses are okay) and fit into its spacecraft and spacesuits.
Successful applicants will have a chance to join Nasa's Artemis programme, which aims to land man (and woman) on the Moon as early as 2024.
"We're on the verge of sending the first woman and next man to the moon by 2024," Nasa boss Jim Bridenstine said.
"For the handful of highly talented women and men we will hire to join our diverse astronaut corps, it's an incredible time in human spaceflight.
"We're asking all eligible Americans if they have what it takes to apply," he added.
Applications for Nasa's 2021 class of astronauts open March 2 and close March 31. Submissions will be accepted through the USAJobs website.
Nasa's Artemis lunar mission – key facts
Here's everything we know so far…
- Nasa has pledged to land man on the Moon in 2024
- The mission, dubbed Artemis, will mark the first time astronauts have set foot on the lunar surface since 1972
- A giant Nasa rocket dubbed the Space Launch System will carry astronauts beyond Earth's atmosphere
- Once at the Moon, two astronauts will descend to the surface from an orbiting craft called the Lunar Gateway
- Nasa has pledged that one of the landing crew will be female, marking the first time a woman has set foot on the Moon
- The pair would land on the lunar south pole, where vast reserves of frozen water could be tapped for future explorers
- The landing system that brought the astronauts to the surface will then blast back to the orbiting Gateway satellite
- They will board an Orion capsule for the 250,000-mile trip back to Earth
- Nasa has a mountain of technical challenges to overcome before Artemis gets the green light
- It's still not clear if everything will be ready in time for the ambitious 2024 launch date
- Nasa boss Jim Bridenstine has said the Moon will serve as a critical training ground for Mars expeditions, perhaps in the 2030s
Nasa was sent so many CVs during its last recruitment drive – more than 18,000 applied for the 2017 class – that it's made some changes this time around.
As well as upping its educational requirements, the space agency now asks candidates to complete a two-hour online screening before submitting applications.
This test will filter out grossly unsuitable candidates in a bid to give Nasa's hiring team a bit less of a headache.
As with previous classes, applicants must be United States citizens and pass a tricky physical test before they're accepted.
You'll also need at least two years of related professional experience or 1,000 hours logged piloting a jet aircraft.
The recruiting push comes as Nasa plots more missions to the International Space Station and the Moon.
The agency's Artemis programme aims to send at least four manned missions to the lunar surface by 2030 with an eye on eventually landing astronauts on Mars.
"We target the number of people based on the missions that are planned," Nasa's Mark Geyer said.
"So you look at the missions that you have today, look at what the normal retirement rate is and then you figure out what all the jobs are — supporting the design folks, executing the plans, training and fly outs and still flying the space station 24/7. So we base it off of that."
In other news, Nasa recently revealed a surreal photo of Earth taken from 4billion miles away.
A space rock shaped like a snowman that formed 4.6billion years ago may have sparked life on Earth.
And, here are five times the world was supposed to end… but didn't.
Do you plan on applying for Nasa's job openings? Let us know in the comments!
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