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How Does One Become An Astronaut?  
User currently offlineLehpron From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 7028 posts, RR: 20
Posted (11 years 6 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 5192 times:

I mean the space exploration one, not the thrill-ride-wanna-be (no offense).

I know someone going through an engineering degree for it and I heard AF pilots usually do it. I have also heard that somehow non-aviation related folks, like geologists and teachers, have been able to qualify to go to space.

How and what the heck?

The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
4 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineLt-AWACS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (11 years 6 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 5164 times:

AFI 36-2205 (chapter 2 pg11-15) is the regulation that covers applications for both the 13A and 13B AFSCs (Astronauts 13A is pilot, 13B is mission specialist). I do not know the regs for the other services. You can find this online at the AF forms/pubs webpage linked via AF.mil

After selection you are PCS'd the JSC in Houston where the training process begins. The JSC webpage has links to various training functions and processes also. Civilians can, of course, also apply.

Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,
Capt-AWACS, Houston-First word spoken from the moon

User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2169 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (11 years 6 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 5158 times:

The ones who actually fly the shuttle are almost always military pilots (not just AF) with an engineering background. That would apply to the mission commander and pilot I believe. Then there are the mission specialists that are there to run experiments/repair satellites/make observations, and they of course don't need to have a flying background but degrees and expertise in their feild.

That's vague, and hopefully accurate, but that's what I remember.

Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8957 posts, RR: 56
Reply 3, posted (11 years 6 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 5151 times:

I've read somewhere that an overwhelming majority of astronauts come from Naval aviation. I would guess a background/degree in math/physics/engineering would also be helpful.


Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlineLt-AWACS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (11 years 6 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 5169 times:

Again, Go to AFI 36-2205 and it spells out all the technical degrees required. No need to speculate.
You need adobe to view the document- Chapter 2 is the Astronaut chapter. Chapter one covers Pilot, Nav and Air Battle Manager applications via AF form 215.

The breakdown between Air Force and Navy Astronauts is somewhat even (and there have been several Army Aviators in the program).
Of the current 108 (before the current selection) active astronauts, there are 23 members fromthe Air Force, 1 from the Air Force Reserves, 6 Army officers, 1 Coast Guardsman, 6 Marines, 27 from the Navy, and 3 from the Navy Reserves- and 41 civilians

-link to prior Navy astronauts http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq88-1.htm
- There are some 54 former astronauts as well as 23 current astronauts and one astronaut candidate who also wear Air Force blue.

Here is a decent story about the most recent Board of selection and the training process
" Duane Ross has 37 years of experience at Johnson Space Center in Houston selecting and training astronauts. NASA receives about 3,000 applications every two years when it selects its next class, said the astronaut candidate selection and training manager.

Out of the thousands, 100 will be interviewed and about 10 will be selected. Both civilian and military applicants are considered. "

Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,
Capt-AWACS, Seven Continents Down, None to Go

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