They have to have nerves of steel, technical prowess and be skilled superhumans who have a passion for space. Why? Because NASA is looking for the next generation of astronauts.
Ultimately, they will circle the earth on the International Space Station, be onboard NASA’s Orion Spacecraft, the Boeing CST-100 Starliner or the SpaceX Crew Dragon.
A record-breaking 18,300 people applied for a scant 14 spots -- maybe fewer -- to be in NASA’s next astronaut class. The previous record was set in 1978. Back then, it was 8,000 applicants.
The training process will take about two years. It includes training on spacecraft systems, honing spacewalking skills and teamwork and learning the Russian language among other things.
Over the next 18 months, NASA’s astronaut selection board will narrow the list of applicants down. Those who make the cut will interview at Johnson Space Center in Houston
Ultimately, NASA will select a final set of eight to 14 astronaut candidates to begin training.