SCIENCE

More People Want To Be Astronauts Today Then Ever

  • Osvaldo Nunez , Design & Trend Contributor
  • Feb, 22, 2016, 04:03 PM
Astronauts
(Photo : Getty Images/NASA/Handout) German scientists are looking into why space has a thinning effect on skin.

After NASA declared they were accepting applications for future astronauts, they received over twice as many applications than they did in 1978. 18,000 people, to be precise, want to be astronauts for NASA.

"It's not at all surprising to me that so many Americans from diverse backgrounds want to personally contribute to blazing the trail on our journey to Mars," said NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden, a former astronaut, in the agency's press release. "A few exceptionally talented men and women will become the astronauts chosen in this group who will once again launch to space from U.S. soil on American-made spacecraft."

The competition is high for the applicants and last time, NASA selected just eight astronaut candidates out of 6,000. This time around, NASA plans to select between eight and 14 people.

"We have our work cut out for us with this many applications," said Brian Kelly, director of Flight Operations at Johnson Space Center in Texas. "But it's heartening to know so many people recognize what a great opportunity this is to be part of NASA's exciting mission. I look forward to meeting the men and women talented enough to rise to the top of what is always a pool of incredible applicants."

The next batch of NASA scientists could be assigned to missions on the International Space Station. There are also other projects NASA could assign to their future astronauts, like NASA's Orion deep-space exploration vehicle and the SpaceX Crew Dragon.

Applicants selected will report to the Johnson Space Center and embark on a two-year training process that will acquaint them with spacecraft systems, spacewalking skills and teamwork, Russian language and other skills, as NASA put it. 

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