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To become an Astronaut you need at least a Bachelors degree in Engineering, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Mathematics, or something similar from an accredited college or university. After receiving your degree you will need at least 3 years of related experience to qualify for their Astronaut candidate program. If you want to be a Pilot Astronaut you will need more than 1,000 hours of experience as pilot-in-command of a jet in addition to your degree. All applicants must pass a rigorous physical exam and meet strict height and health requirements. Once accepted to the Astronaut candidate program you will train for 2 years at NASAs facility in Houston, Texas. There you will take classes in Math, Astronomy, Physics, Geology, Meteorology, Oceanography, Navigation, Orbital Mechanics, Materials Processing, and Space Shuttle Systems. At the end of the 2 years you can become an astronaut. Once you become one you will do more training until you are selected for a mission. Astronauts must remain with NASA for at least 5 years and are paid between $51,799 and $95,977 a year depending on their qualifications.

Images used with the permission of NASA


How Stuff Works -How do I become an astronaut?

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Johnson Space Center - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

National Aeronautics and Space Administration - Astronaut Selection, FAQ

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