What it takes to be an Astronaut

Isabel Venegas – GRZEXP Staff

Have you ever thought about the requirements to become an Astronaut? NASA has many requirements for being an astronaut. They have to have requirements because they have to know if you are physically able to go to space. You have to have the right education, NASA’s preferred age, and you have to pass your physical and medical exams. 

To go into NASA, you have to be a U.S. Citizen or have dual nationality, a person is a national citizen of two countries at the same time. There is no age limit when someone is applying to be an astronaut, but you have to consider NASA will get more use out of a younger astronaut. The preferred age is 26 to 46 years old. The average age of astronaut’s is 34 years old.

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There are also physical and medical requirements. One of them is passing the NASA long duration spaceflight physical that’s for astronauts looking to spend long periods of time in space. Also if you have bad vision it has to be corrected to 20/20 for each eye. If you have better vision than 20/800 you can get LASIK eye surgery which can make your vision 20/400. However if you get this surgery, you have to wait 2 years until you can submit your application. Astronauts additionally  have to be 5 foot 2 inches to 6 foot 3 inches tall. This is because in space you spend time living in microgravity and grow 3 percent taller. That means that a 6-foot-tall person could gain as many as 2 inches while in microgravity. You also must be in good shape according to your age and gender. The candidates for NASA must also have earned a master’s degree from accredited institutions in engineering, biology, physical science and mathematics. 

When you look at what it takes to be an astronaut you wonder if you really want to be one. Look at all the physicals and medicals you have to pass. You have to be at least 26 to be able to go, because you can’t be too young and do crazy stuff in space. You have to be able to move easily. There has been no recent surgeries in the past 2 years. Despite the requirements, if you have what it takes, go for the exciting job.

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