Help Wanted: NASA seeks astronauts

By Courtney Howard

NASA needs astronauts. No, really. Next month, NASA officials will start accepting applications for the next class of astronaut candidates. The Astronaut Candidate Class of 2013 will support not only long-duration missions to the International Space Station (ISS), but also future deep-space exploration.


Let me “say” that again: The Astronaut Candidate Class of 2013. How cool would it be to add that to your resume and list of accomplishments? Game over—I’d be one satisfied customer. After you literally shoot for the moon, what else is there? Eh, I’m sure I’d find something… but it’s all for naught; I’m out of the running.

This latest NASA news is all the more reason for students to pursue an education and occupation in STEM: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Applicants for the newest Astronaut Candidate Class must have a bachelor's degree in engineering, science, or math and three years of relevant professional experience to be considered. As can be expected, however, successful applicants typically have significant qualifications in engineering/science or extensive experience flying high-performance jet-aircraft.

"For scientists, engineers, and other professionals who have always dreamed of experiencing spaceflight, this is an exciting time to join the astronaut corps," says Janet Kavandi, director of flight crew operations at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. "This next class will support missions to the station and will arrive via transportation systems now in development. They also will have the opportunity to participate in NASA's continuing exploration programs that will include missions beyond low Earth orbit."

After applicant interviews and evaluations, NASA expects to announce the final selections in 2013, and training to begin that August. For more information, visit http://astronauts.nasa.gov/ or call the Astronaut Selection Office at 281-483-5907.

Also, be sure to learn all the latest space news, including the latest and greatest satellite electronics and spacecraft avionics advancements and applications, at Avionics-Intelligence.com. It's the place to learn what's happening in space!

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The Aerospace & Defense Bloggers

John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.

Ernesto Burden is the publisher of PennWell’s Aerospace & Defense Media Group, including Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence and Avionics Europe.  He’s a father of four, a runner, and an avid digital media enthusiast with a deep background in the intersection of media publishing, digital technology, and social media. He can be reached at ernestob@pennwell.com and on Twitter @aero_ernesto.

Courtney E. Howard, as executive editor, enjoys writing about all things electronics and avionics in PennWell’s burgeoning Aerospace and Defense Group, which encompasses Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence, the Avionics Europe conference, and much more. She’s also a self-proclaimed social-media maven, mil-aero nerd, and avid avionics geek. Connect with Courtney at Courtney@Pennwell.com, @coho on Twitter, and on LinkedIn.

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