NASA Recruiting Astronauts ‘In Preparation’ for Eventual Trip to Mars

Here's the right stuff you need to qualify.

ByERIN DOOLEY
November 4, 2015, 12:24 PM
PHOTO: Flight Engineer Catherine Coleman, Commander Scott Kelly, and Flight Engineer Paolo Nespoli, memebers of the Expedition 26 crew, send their holiday greetings to Earth from the International Space Station, on Dec. 25, 2010 in space.
Flight Engineer Catherine Coleman, Commander Scott Kelly, and Flight Engineer Paolo Nespoli, memebers of the Expedition 26 crew, send their holiday greetings to Earth from the International Space Station, on Dec. 25, 2010 in space.
NASA/Getty Images

— -- NASA has Mars fever -- and they’re hoping you do too.

The space agency is recruiting new astronauts “in preparation for the agency's journey to Mars,” it announced today.

"This next group of American space explorers will inspire the Mars generation to reach for new heights, and help us realize the goal of putting boot prints on the Red Planet," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement.

The announcement comes on the heels of a series of high-profile developments at NASA, including the now-famous “love note” from Pluto and the discovery of liquid water on Mars earlier this year.

Officially, all you need in order to apply is a bachelor’s degree in engineering, biological or physical science, or mathematics, plus just three years of professional experience or 1,000 hours of pilot time.

You must also be able to pass the space physical, which restricts would-be astronauts to men and women no taller than 6-feet 4-inches. (Sorry, tall space geeks.)

"Those selected for this service will fly on U.S. made spacecraft from American soil,” Bolden promised.

NASA, which retired its manned space shuttle program in 2011, is apparently ready to revive the practice from the space pad in Florida.

The new class of astronauts, which will be announced in 2017, may travel to the great beyond in Orion, NASA’s deep-space exploration vehicle, or in commercial spacecraft, like SpaceX’s Crew Dragon or Boeing’s Starliner, according to NASA.

You can apply to join the ranks of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Sally Ride and Scott Kelly beginning Dec. 14 at www.usajobs.gov.

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