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NASA: Astronauts Being Hired For New Crews For Mars Research

Nov 05, 2015 02:44 PM EST

If you're ready to shoot for the moon with your next job, keep in mind: NASA will soon start accepting applications for astronaut candidates, according to a release from the space agency.

It's clear, of course, that lots of space-oriented work is taking place lately--and NASA announced in that release that not only will they be looking for new folks, but that the next class of astronauts will launch from Florida on American-made spacecraft, and explore missions to further human learning about Mars.

Here's the time-frame for applications: The space agency is accepting applications Dec. 14 through mid-February. They expect to announce selected candidates around mid-2017. These will be applications for the International Space Station, two spacecraft for commercial crews that are currently being developed, and the Orion deep-space exploration vehicle.

They'll select candidates from among U.S. citizens who have a variety of experience, including engineers, pilots, scientists and medical doctors. Some other requirements include a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in mathematics, physical science, biological science or engineering. Advanced degrees are helpful, too. Those who put their hat into the ring will want to have a minimum of three years of increasingly responsible professional experience -- or a minimum of 1,000 hours of time as a pilot in command of a jet aircraft. It will also be necessary to pass the NASA physical for long-duration space flight.

"This next group of American space explorers will inspire the Mars generation to reach for new heights, and help us realize the goal of putting boot prints on the Red Planet," said Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator, in the release. "Those selected for this service will fly on U.S. made spacecraft from American soil, advance critical science and research aboard the International Space Station, and help push the boundaries of technology in the proving ground of deep space."

The push for additional crew is happening partly because the space agency is undergoing a strong transition to commercial spacecraft for crew. Since the agency will be using Boeing's CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon, those flights will need a seventh crew member on each mission to the space station. In effect, astronauts will be doing research in space twice the time that they are now, the release confirmed.

If you'd like more information on how to apply, go here

Here's other information on jobs at NASA in general. 

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

-Follow Catherine on Twitter @TreesWhales

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