NASA’s Future Astronauts Will Need These Job Skills | Fast Company
The most important skill an astronaut can have doesn’t necessarily involve hard science. "...what exactly are the skills NASA’s hiring team is looking for in its next crop of astronauts?" For starters, there are some basic requirements such as U.S. citizenship; a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in a science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) field; and at least three years of related experience, or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft. “Related experience” doesn’t always mean military service, though. NASA says that teaching, including at the K–12 levels, is considered an acceptable qualification.
Tackling this stage of the vetting process is similar to college admissions. NASA public affairs specialist Brandi Dean tells Fast Company that there’s a dedicated group of about 50–60 people, primarily from human resources, whose job it is to do this first round of vetting. But due to the record volume, she says, “We had to bring them in from other NASA centers to help our human resources team here at Johnson Space Center [in Houston].” The team reviewed applications to make sure they met the minimum qualifications, then sorted those that did according to their discipline.
Next, the remaining candidates get reviewed by the 50-person Astronaut Rating Panel, most of whom are current astronauts. The panel narrows the pool down to a few hundred of the most highly qualified applicants, who then go through a reference check.
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Credit: Fast Company
Release Date: June 7, 2017
NASA's Johnson Space Center
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