Can I be an astronaut?

Become an astronaut: Into space as an all-rounder

As an astronaut, you should definitely have these qualities:

  • You are Expert in all natural sciences
  • Yours Fascination for space is limitless
  • Physically you are extremely fit and have one good perseverance
  • Strong nerves accompany you into space
  • You never lose sight of your goal
  • multitasking is one of your skills
  • For your dream job you take many burdens in purchase
  • Yours Thirst for adventure and extreme challenges are your motivators
  • You are ready yours Work-life balance to give up

Table of Contents

  1. tasks
  2. training
  3. requirements
  4. Work-life balance
  5. Salary and career prospects

That's what an astronaut does - the tasks

Being shot into space and looking at the earth from above - that sounds very adventurous. In fact, there is a lot more to becoming an astronaut. Before the mission in space begins, you first have to prove yourself on earth. Astronauts take part in space expeditions, control all processes on board a space station and carry out scientific studies in them. Space travel should become your vocation, because you have to practice this profession with heart and soul and make an important contribution to the future of humanity. Six hours of rocket flight from Earth, you will work in the International Space Station for several weeks or months. As part of a scientific research team, you will carry out experiments using the special conditions of space. You will find yourself in total weightlessness and deal with developments in physics and materials research. Astronomical observations are also part of your tasks, as is the maintenance and repair of the space station. During your day-to-day work in space, you have to keep fit with several hours of exercise a day in order to counteract muscle wasting in weightlessness in space.

As an astronaut you will become an all-round talent, as you are both an expert in, for example chemistry as well as in physics. You have to be able to switch between several scientific areas within a short period of time. At the same time you are also a craftsman of the space station and have to be able to carry out repairs.

Shortly before the start of your journey into space, you will be placed in a quarantine station so that you do not get infected with diseases shortly beforehand. If you should still get sick, a deputy is available in the quarantine station who can still represent you in an emergency. Even after your deployment in space, you must first be placed in a rehab to strengthen your muscles again, who, despite constant training in space, have to be retrained and strengthened in order to survive everyday life on earth.

In Europe, for space travel is the ESA, the European Space Agency, who runs her own corps of astronauts. The ESA would then be your employer and carry out all the important tests and selection processes.

The training: this is how you too can become an astronaut

If you want to become an astronaut, you need to consider this early in your career planning.Natural science courses how physics, chemistry, medicine or engineering sciences lay the foundation for this. Since you have to develop into a real all-round talent, interdisciplinary courses in particular offer a good basis. If you know right from the start that you want to go into space, you can decide directly on the aerospace engineering course. This course includes all the important course content that you need for your journey into space. After you graduate, you have to go through a strict selection process from ESA. In order to be considered as a candidate, you first have to prove your scientific skills. Foreign languages ​​are also recommended here, especially English so that you can communicate with all team members from other nations. Initial experience in practical areas, such as craft trades or flight lessons that have already been completed, will also help you to realize your dream. This is followed by several demanding tests that you have to pass successfully. Here, for example, your mathematical-logical thinking is put to the test as well as your psychomotor coordination. Also on the program are psychological qualifications and a review of your multitasking skills. At the end of the selection process, a kind of shortlist with around 10 candidates is drawn up. The future astronauts on this list will be identified in subsequent job interviews. Subsequent nominations are also possible. Once you have successfully mastered everything, you will finally complete the special training to become an astronaut. If you are one of the chosen few, then you have four years of training ahead of you. During this time you will attend various courses in a wide variety of research areas. You will learn the basics of space research, the history of space travel, as well as the organization and technology for space. You will also complete an English language course. Regular and persistent exercise should definitely not be neglected in your daily program. Such as diving lessons where you learn ahead of time to train weightlessness in space. Your path for your apprenticeship will first lead you to Cologne. This is where the European Astronaut Center is located, where the chosen astronauts are trained.

One factor that you as a potential astronaut cannot influence is national proportionality. The representatives of the federal states, together with the representatives of the ESA, decide how many astronauts from the respective countries are taken. This is where very talented astronauts often fail because there are simply not enough jobs available.

By the way, astronauts can only fly into space for their home country, that means, for example, you could not compete in space travel as a German citizen for NASA. In Europe you would explore space on behalf of ESA.

Requirements to become an astronaut

In order to be able to live out the vocation of the astronaut to the full, you must be able to demonstrate certain requirements in order to actually become an astronaut. The few places in the ESA are in great demand and rarely, every few years, are new places available in the team. You meet good requirements if you have the best starting age at 35 years of age. Your application should be sent to ESA by the age of 37 at the latest. From the age of 50, physical performance decreases and so does your chance of a coveted place. At this age becomes the active Astronaut service mostly finished again.

Physical requirements must also be met so that you can survive in space. Regarding the size, for example, you have to be between 153 and 190 cm tall, if you are shorter or taller, you are already out of the selection process as a potential candidate. If you have poor eyesight, this is not your end, because eye defects of up to two dioptres are allowed. So you can wear glasses in space and also seals in teeth are allowed, contrary to many rumors. As an astronaut, you don't have to be a competitive athlete, but you should be healthy and have good stamina in order to be able to survive the grueling time on board the space station without any problems. You should also have strong nerves with you, as you will spend several weeks or months with the same people, from different cultures, in a confined space and not even be able to get some fresh air when everything becomes too much for you. Therefore, you should have a high tolerance limit, as there will be little room for comfort. Qualities such as courage, the spirit of discovery and a thirst for adventure will definitely bring you closer to your goal.

During the selection process for astronauts, your thinking skills, your ability to orient yourself and your skills, which you absolutely need on board the space station, are examined carefully. Your psychological resilience is also tested, as you have been exposed to high levels of stress for several weeks or months away from home and the eartht. Here, too, your passion for the cause should be emphasized again, because with the decision to become an astronaut you also have a regular daily routine and a balanced one Work-life balance throw overboard. The pressure and stress of failing shortly before the goal during the many tests and selection processes should not be underestimated. If you really want to make it and see space travel as your calling, you still have to realistically keep in mind how big the chances are, in addition to the big competition, of having to give up your dream job early on.

The work-life balance

The work-life balance is an important factor in a new profession. We'll show you how it works Work-life balance of the astronaut stands:

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Salary and career prospects of astronauts

In the training phase, as an astronaut, you earn 55,000 euros gross per year. When you finally embark on the path into space, this will also be directly noticeable in your salary. Your gross salary is then already at 90,000 euros. If you are the commander in the space station, you can look forward to gross income of 110,000 euros per year. The long wait and the high stress before your deployment in space are appropriately rewarded.

Since the positions for astronauts are very limited and many strive for this job, the career prospects and thus for a position as an active astronaut are very slimG. If you survive the selection process and meet all the other requirements, your chances of finding a position in your dream job grows.