Aspiring astronauts get ready, NASA is hiring for its future Moon and Mars missions_1


NASA is hunting for new astronauts to accomplish what no man or woman has done in almost half a century – land on the Moon.

Humanity hasn't been back to the lunar surface since 1972, but NASA is looking to change that by 2024.

It's not just going to send anyone there – you have to be an American citizen or dual national to apply, and hold a master’s degree in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field.

The successful applicant will also have at least 1000 hours of flight time in command of a jet aircraft, or the equivalent of two years of professional experience.

Fit the bill? Just because NASA is keen on making history again, doesn't mean applicants will have it easy. But it has promised to start training as early as mid-next year.

NASA first plans to sift through a pile of online applications that will take astronaut-hopefuls about two hours to complete.

Get through that and you'll need to pass a physical examination.

Successful candidates will spend the next two years training for missions, not only to the Moon but to Mars as well.

That will involve courses in military water survival, technical skills, robotics training as well as learning how to speak Russian.



 

If you've lasted past the two years of training, the US federal agency could send you to live and work aboard the International Space Station which lies 250 miles (about 402 kilometres) above Earth.

"They will take part in experiments that benefit life at home and prepare us for more distant exploration," the application states.

Applications open March 2 and hopefuls have until the end of the month to apply.

"After returning humans to the Moon in 2024, NASA plans to establish sustainable lunar exploration by 2028," it stated.

"Gaining new experiences on and around the Moon will prepare NASA to send the first humans to Mars in the mid-2030s."

Only 350 people have been selected to date to train as astronauts, and there are only 48 currently working in that position at the moment.