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Nasa seeks next generation of astronauts as new class graduates

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Nasa seeks next generation of astronauts as new class graduates

NASA newest class of astronauts, selected in 2021, graduate during a ceremony at the at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

As

Nasa

celebrated the graduation of its newest class of astronaut candidates on Thursday, the space agency also opened the application process for the next group of prospective space explorers.
The 2023 Astronaut Candidate Class included six individuals who completed over two years of basic training to become eligible for spacecraft commander roles, International Space Station expedition crews, and Artemis missions to the Moon. Their graduation ceremony was held at Johnson Space Center in Houston.
“Nasa’s corps of

astronauts

is a group of people who are striving to push the boundaries of exploration farther into the cosmos than ever before,” said Nasa administrator Bill Nelson. “This talented group of astronaut candidates has taken the initial, important first steps toward lunar missions as part of Nasa’s Artemis program.”
With this new class joining the active astronaut ranks, Nasa is already looking to the future by seeking applicants for the next iteration that will help continue human space exploration. The application process opens March 1 and runs through March 31, with the new class expected to be selected in 2024.

“Future explorers in our Artemis astronaut corps will help define our path outward into the cosmos for generations to come,” said Nasa’s chief astronaut Reid Wiseman. “We are seeking the next generation to explore Earth’s neighborhood, the Moon, and prepare for Mars.”
Nasa anticipates selecting the next class from a diverse pool of US citizens with a wide variety of backgrounds, ranging from engineers and scientists to pilots and process experts. Requirements include a master’s degree in a STEM field, along with at least three years of related experience or 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time.

The pay range for astronaut candidates falls between the top two salary levels for federal positions in the Houston region, as per the data from FederalPay.org, a platform utilized by government workers. In 2020, Nasa advertised that astronaut candidates would earn between approximately $105,000 and $161,000.
“Not everybody gets the chance to go up to space and then look back at our earth, but I hope that all of you get the chance to fall in love with our planet,” said astronaut Jessica Meir, who returned from the International Space Station in 2020 after 205 days in orbit.
As Nasa gears up for increasingly ambitious space missions including the Artemis program’s crewed lunar landings, the next group of astronaut candidates will play a vital role in pushing the boundaries of human exploration. With a new application window now open, the agency is on the lookout for its future generation of space trailblazers.

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