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  • Gaurav Sangal

STEM education can make you a(n).........ASTRONAUT!

Updated: Feb 4

Job Title - Astronaut, a person who travels beyond the earth's atmosphere; A person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft. The term "Astronaut" derives from Greek words meaning "space sailor". To become an Astronaut takes many years of education and experience to meet the basic qualifications. Many people aren't accepted on the first try, either, requiring them to learn more to be better prepared for the next try. Even then, only a small percentage of applicants become Astronaut candidates, making it a hard job to get.

The first step to being an Astronaut is getting relevant experience in school. There are two main classes of astronaut applicants: military applicants and civilian applicants. Military application procedures vary depending on the branch of the U.S. armed forces you are working for, since you apply through your respective branch. Civilians apply to NASA directly.

No matter the background, NASA wants its astronauts to have at least a bachelor's degree in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics. Many Astronauts have a master's degree or even a Ph.D. in their field. 


Office - Outer space missions, on-earth training center

Potential Employers - Space Agencies such as NASA

Education - Degree in Engineering, Biological Science, Physical Science, Computer science or Mathematics. Soft-skills such as leadership, teamwork, and communications

Salary - $65,000 - $141,000 per year

Future - Mission to Mars, Mission to International Space Station, Mission on the future Orion-Multipurpose Crew Vehicle to asteroids, Moon, and Mars. With the new commercial players such as SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, and Blue Origin, the Space industry is bound to innovate and grow leaps and bounds. The growth in Space industry will create more jobs that can only be filled by people who have a background in STEM. 

Many of the NASA's new hires have a shared trait - Interest in STEM

Women In STEM

SpaceX co-founder Tom Mueller owes career in rocket science to a strong foundation in STEM fields.

NASA Astronaut talks about the importance of STEM

Humanity's interest in the heavens has been universal and enduring. Humans are driven to explore the unknown, discover new worlds, push the boundaries of our scientific and technical limits, and then push further. The intangible desire to explore and challenge the boundaries of what we know and where we have been has provided benefits to our society for centuries.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain. 

We often limit kids to learning one or two aspects of STEM like "Robotics" or "Computer Programming", however, to be successful the kids need to have a more comprehensive understanding of all aspects of STEM, like Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Sustainable Engineering and more.

Even if you are someone who writes code for your job, you need to understand how mechanical things work. We are looking for people that had been building things since they were little. - Dolly Singh, Former Head of Talent Acquisition at SpaceX

So, let's work together and give the kids this very important, and comprehensive STEM foundation to build the future full of opportunities and exploration. 


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