NASA, after over 4 years of hiatus, has started to accept applications for astronauts. This is a lucrative opportunity, up for grabs for anyone who dares to expand their reach beyond the known and dive deep into the heart of this infinite universe(well, not ‘anyone’). The last date for the applications will be 31st March, so candidates have till the end of the month for a chance to embark their name in gold over the book of humanity.

The call for more astronauts comes at a time when the agency is preparing to send the first woman and next man to the Moon with the Artemis program.

Selected candidates will have a chance to embark on journeys to the moon, and even farther, to the unfamiliar harsh lands of our red neighbour, Mars. NASA’s last Space Shuttle Mission was in 2011, and the space agency has been a little idle ever since on that front. However, with 2020 comes a new hope in the realm of Space travel, the chance for the first humans to land on a planet other than the one we were born in. More and more companies have been eyeing Mars for a while now, most notable of them being SpaceX, and NASA is gearing up for the race.

However, getting approved to become an astronaut is as hard as one would imagine it to be, since the list is very extensive. First, only U.S. citizens can apply for this program since NASA is a government agency. Second, said citizens should have either a master’s degree in a STEM field or an equivalent, such as two years of work toward the doctorate in their particular field, a medical doctorate or the combination of a completed test pilot school program (finished by June 2021) with a STEM bachelor’s degree. Moreover, real life experience is a necessity, by which we mean nearly 2 years of “progressively responsible” work experience or 1,000 flight hours as a pilot in command.

This isn’t the end of what the agency expects from its candidates, as they would also have to pass a rigorous long-duration spaceflight physical.

The opportunity is huge, as NASA is pumped to take the world with storm after a long hiatus.