How do you dream in space

How do you become an astronaut?

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The astronaut job is a coveted one, and many people dream of flying into space one day. How do you become an astronaut? What are the options?

The job description

Before we answer the question “How do you become an astronaut? “, We first come to the job description of an astronaut. Astronauts are very general Spacemen. The term astronaut is mainly used in western countries, in other parts of the world space travelers are called differently. It is part of the job of astronauts to be a Control or fly spacecraft or also the Use as a crew member during a space mission. What exactly is a space flight is defined differently. According to the World Air Sports Federation, a space flight is only one when it reaches an altitude of 100 km.

Anyone who wants to become an astronaut as a European citizen can do so at the ESA, the European Space Agency. This organization has its own astronaut corps made up of European astronauts. These in turn accept Long-term missions to the ISS space station part. Once there, they will be there Systemsserved. Also will be Experiments carried out. Going on, one of the tasks is new Checking station components, scientific research tasks perform and also himself as a test subject to function, e.g. for life science experiments. Also the Maintenance and repair the space station is one of the tasks of astronauts in space.

A working day on the ISS is included 12 hours long. In addition to the tasks mentioned, this also includes 2 hours of physical training intended. This is important for the health of astronauts in space, because the conditions in space are completely different from those on Earth, not least because of the weightlessness. The body is exposed to other stresses which it should be able to cope better with.

Before you go on the ISS you have to do a preparation necessary. The astronauts arrive shortly before the trip into space quarantinein order to rule out the possibility of them falling ill or contracting an illness. There is also a deputy with the respective astronaut on the quarantine station in case the other person does fall ill.

There is initially one close to a stay on the ISS Rehab at. Despite the sports program on board, among other things, the muscle and bone mass of the astronauts is dwindling in space. This has to be rebuilt back on earth. Staying in space also has other physical effects that should be remedied during this rehab time in order to restore normal health.

However, not all of the ESA astronauts are constantly on the ISS or prepare for a new mission in space. During this time one of the tasks is technical support for space programs. But also the public relation and the Expansion of your own qualifications is part of the astronaut's profession in such phases.

The tasks and activities of an astronaut are therefore diverse. But how do you become an astronaut?

How do you become an astronaut?

To answer the question “How do you become an astronaut? “To answer, is now highlighted which training path you have to go for this. First and foremost here is a Education. As an astronaut you have to have a great knowledge and have very different skills. It is possible to have a scientific studies to complete how Physics chemistry or medicine. Also Engineering can be the first step to becoming an astronaut. Since there are many different tasks waiting for you as an astronaut, an interdisciplinary course is like Aerospace Engineering one of the best preparations for later becoming an astronaut.

If you want to become an astronaut after completing such a degree, you have to rely on a tough ESA selection process to adjust. It should be noted here, however, that ESA only looks for new astronauts every few years and adjusts. If you apply at such a time, you have to apply for a wide range of opportunities Tests and requirements set that must be mastered or fulfilled. So you have to:

  • have academic professional experience (3 years of relevant professional experience / flight experience as a pilot)
  • best grades in the subject you have studied
  • be in perfect health and in good mental and physical condition (Health check by an aviation doctor necessary; no illnesses, dependencies, mental disorders; unlimited mobility and functionality of all joints; 100% vision in both eyes, even if this is achieved through correction with glasses or contact lenses; required cognitive, mental and character skills ; excessively developed muscles can be more of a disadvantage)
  • optimal an age between 27 and 37 years to have
  • a height between 1.53 m and 1.90 m to have
  • the European citizenship to have
  • have very good knowledge of English
  • if possible another foreign language (Russian is an advantage)

In addition, there is also additional skillsthat astronauts should bring. This includes good judgment, as well as good memory, concentration and spatial orientation. In addition, you should be able to work in stressful conditions. Manual dexterity and psychomotor coordination are also among the skills that should be brought along. Flexibility is also required, as is the ability to work in a team, motivation and low levels of aggressiveness. Finally, astronauts should also be emotionally stable.

If you have managed to get through this tough selection process, one awaits you several years of training. This is divided into 3 phases. The first phase is the Basic trainingwhich lasts a year. This is followed by the Advanced training which also takes a year. The third and final phase of the training is the mission-specific, which too Increment-specific training is called. This phase takes about 18 months.

On its information page, ESA states that astronauts spend half of their careers in training. Once you have mastered this phase, you are a fully trained astronaut and can fly to missions on the ISS.

Conclusion - how do you become an astronaut?

Do you ask yourself “How do you become an astronaut? “So you have to know that the path to becoming an astronaut can be long and exhausting. You also need a bit of luck, because that ESA only hires new astronauts every few years. After a very successfully completed university studies in the natural sciences, engineering, medicine or a very well completed degree in aerospace technology, should first of all work experience to be collected. The optimal age according to ESA, astronauts are between 27 and 37 years of age. If ESA is then looking for new astronauts, you can apply for this position. For this you have to numerous requirements meet and pass tests. Once you have successfully mastered all of this, one follows 3-stage trainingwhich takes just over 3 years to complete. Once you have mastered all of this, you can expect a varied, exciting and exciting job that requires many different skills.

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About the author J Bohlken