As of December 4, 2019, 565 people from 41 countries have gone into house. That’s it. 565 out of greater than 7 billion of us at present on this planet. And that is utilizing the definition of house journey to incorporate any flight over 62 miles or about 100 kilometers.
Many of those house vacationers are, in fact, NASA astronauts. Meaning they went by a rigorous software and coaching course of. So, what precisely does it take to be an astronaut?
Minimal necessities to be an astronaut
To be thought of for the NASA astronaut program is you should be a U.S. citizen. Twin citizenship is okay.
Past that, NASA units three naked minimal necessities for his or her astronaut software. First, candidates will need to have a bachelor’s diploma in engineering, organic or bodily science, laptop science, or math. Second, you should have three years of associated skilled expertise or 1,000 hours of piloting. That skilled expertise might be instructing or time spent pursuing a sophisticated diploma. And third, you should have the ability to cross one thing known as the NASA long-duration Astronaut bodily.
As a part of that bodily, you’ll have to have the ability to display 20/20 imaginative and prescient, though utilizing glasses or having had LASIK surgical procedure to try this is okay.
It could shock you to be taught that there are not any age necessities for being an astronaut. (After all, it’s important to be sufficiently old to have met the skilled necessities and capable of cross the bodily.) The everyday age vary spans 26 to 46-years-old.
Astronaut John Glenn, who made historical past as the primary American to orbit earth, returned to space at age 77 as a payload specialist on the house shuttle Discovery. Over the nine-day mission, he participated in analysis to check the consequences of microgravity on the growing old physique.
There may be additionally no particular physique kind required to be an astronaut, however you do have to slot in the spacesuit—known as the extravehicular mobility unit—that the astronauts put on to do spacewalks. This will likely sound apparent, however spacesuits have traditionally been designed for males. Within the 1970s, NASA provided an extra-small and small model of the boys’s swimsuit, however these nonetheless didn’t account for various the physique varieties many ladies have, like bigger hips and narrower shoulders. And budget cuts within the 1990s meant they did away with these smaller sizes altogether.
In March of 2019, NASA scheduled what was to be the first all-female spacewalk, however the historic occasion needed to be canceled as a result of there weren’t sufficient spacesuits to suit each girls on the similar time. Lastly, in October later that yr, the primary all-female spacewalk did happen, with astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch. A lady has not but walked on the Moon.
Myths about astronaut necessities
As a youngster, I used to be instructed that getting a tattoo would imply I might by no means be an astronaut. This isn’t in any respect true. In truth, some Apollo astronauts got tattoos– small dots to indicate the place defibrillator pads must be positioned in case of a medical emergency. Maybe whoever instructed me the parable about astronauts not having the ability to have tattoos was making an attempt to discourage me from getting one. (Sorry! It did not work.)