CAREER OPTION > Astronaut
Astronaut : As A Career
There is unlimited adventure, never-ending curiosity and magical experience out there if you are looking for a career as an astronaut. An astronaut is someone who is a member of the spaceship that travels beyond the earth’s atmosphere with different missions and objectives. As an astronaut you can visit galaxies, travel far away from the earth, and trust your companions with your life. Before being send into the space, you will be trained with the team that you will travel for almost two years. They will become family to you.
You will be trained to pilot and travel in a spacecraft. You will acquire special training in how to work in space and do activities related to human space exploration. To become an astronaut you can be from engineering, medicine, chemistry, biology, aerospace, chemical, and mechanical or mathematics backgrounds. It is advisable to have a master’s degree in order to become a professional astronaut. Being an astronaut is a tremendous commitment and also risky.
- You need to be a citizen of the country to which the space agency you are applying belongs to.
- You need to have qualifying marks in your H.S.C. (10+2) exams under a recognised board of education and should belong to the science stream with physics, chemistry, biology and maths as your main subjects.
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institute in engineering, biological sciences, physical science, mathematics, aviation, social sciences or bachelor of engineer in space technology.
- Professional practise of minimum 2 years in your field of study.
- Prior experience and qualification in jet aircraft pilot exams.
- Blood pressure of 140/90 measures in sitting position
- Height between 64 and 76 inches.
- You must possess an above average intelligence. You need quick thinking to handle unexpected problems
- You need intellectual creativity because it will help in introducing space based research into medicine, materials and processes that can be used on the earth.
- Adaptability to move from different tasks and to survive extreme weather and health conditions with mental will power.
- Open mindedness to diversity, cultures, languages, races and religions and a great team spirit because all the missions and works within this domain are carried out as a team.
- You must be physically fit and mentally stable.
- You must be able to handle isolation, fear and separation from dear ones.
- Excellent communication skills are a must because there are chances that you will be working with people who are not even from your country.
How to become an astronaut
STEP 1: After completing your 12thgrade, you have to get a bachelor’s degree in a suitable subject. If you wish to you can do a post-graduation or doctorate degree in a domain of your choice.
STEP 2: You have to attend the exams conducted by NASA (National Aeronautical Space Administration) for recruitment of astronauts and scientists. If you wish to join the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation), you need to clear the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) conducted by IITs.
STEP 4: Today United States is the only country that sends astronauts into space. Hence, even if you are part of the ISRO, you have to apply to NASA and clear exams and training as per their norms.
STEP 3: After clearing these exams, you will be trained for 3 years or more in space technology and how to work as a team. You will be assigned to a mission and trained for the same along with other team members.
STEP 4: Once you are ready, you are send to the space along with your other team members to accomplish a mission.
- National Aeronautical Space Administration (NASA)
- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
- California Institute of Technology
You can either become a mission specialist or a pilot astronaut. As a pilot astronaut, you will be flying the spacecraft and leading the team through space operations and movements. A mission specialist on the other hand will be leading activities to accomplish the mission for which the spacecraft has been send into the space.
As an astronaut, you are likely to get around Rs.2 lakhs per month for an income. This can increase with different missions and seniority. Apart from the salary, you will enjoy other benefits like accommodation, tuition fee for children, medical allowances, pension etc.