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archive:fun:astronau

"6_3_2_16.TXT" (8108 bytes) was created on 07-08-92

REQUIREMENTS FOR BECOMING AN ASTRONAUT

                     ANNOUNCEMENT NO. 3ACS-83
                                FOR
          MISSION SPECIALIST & PILOT ASTRONAUT CANDIDATES

ASTRONAUT CANDIDATE PROGRAM

M I S S I O N S P E C I A L I S T A S T R O N A U T

Mission specialist astronauts, working with the commander and pilot, have overall responsibility for the coordination of Shuttle operations in the areas of crew activity planning, consumables usage, and other Shuttle activities affecting experiment operations. Thus, mission specialists are proficient in payload operations and are required to have a detailed knowledge of the Shuttle systems as well as the operational characteristics, mission requirements and objectives, and supporting systems and equipment for each of the experiments that will be conducted on their assigned mission. Mission specialists participate in extravehicular activities, perform special payload handling or maintenance operations using a remote manipulator system, and assist in specific experiment operation at the discretion of the experiment sponsor.

P I L O T A S T R O N A U T

Space Shuttle pilot astronauts serve as both Shuttle commanders and pilots. During flight, the Shuttle commander has onboard responsibility for the space vehicle, crew, mission success, and safety of flight. The Shuttle pilot assists the commander in controlling and operating the Shuttle. In addition, Shuttle pilots may deploy and retrieve payloads using a remote manipulator system, participate in extravehicular activities, and support specific payload operations where appropriate.

G E N E R A L C A N D I D A T E I N F O R M A T I O N

Selected applicants join the Johnson Space Center and are assigned to the Astronaut Office. They will undergo a 1-year training and evaluation period during which they are placed in responsible technical or scientific positions allowing them to contribute substantially to the Shuttle Program and continue to work in their scientific or technical fields, where feasible, while under evaluation. They also participate in the basic astronaut training program which is designed to develop the knowledge and skills required for formal mission training upon selection for flight assignments. Pilot astronaut candidates are required to maintain proficiency in NASA aircraft during their candidate period.

Applicants are made aware that selection as an astronaut candidate does not ensure selection as an astronaut. Final selection as an astronaut depend upon satisfactory completion of the 1-year training and evaluation period. Civilian candidates who successfully complete the training and evaluation period and are selected as astronauts become permanent Federal employees. Civilian candidates not selected as astronauts may be placed in other positions within NASA depending upon Agency requirements and manpower constraints at the time.

Successful military candidates will be detailed to NASA for a time period established by NASA/Department of Defense (DOD) Memorandum of Understanding.

NASA has an affirmative action program goal of having qualified minorities and women among the newly-selected astronaut candidates. Therefore, women and minority candidates are encouraged to apply.

QUALIFICATIONS OF APPLICANTS (Both Military and Civilian Applicants)

M I S S I O N S P E C I A L I S T A S T R O N A U T

C A N D I D A T E P R O G R A M

Applicants MUST meet the following minimum qualification requirements.

   o  Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in
      engineering, biological or physical science, or mathematics. Degree
      must be supplemented by at least 3 years of related professional
      experience. An advanced degree is desirable and may be substituted for
      all or part of the experience requirement (master's degree = 1 year,
      PhD degree = 3 years). Quality of academic preparation is important.
      
   o  Ability to pass NASA Class II space flight physical (similar to
      military and civilian flight physicals) to include the following
      specific standards:
   
      DISTANCE VISUAL ACUITY:   20/100 or better uncorrected;
                                correctable to 20/20, each eye.
   
      HEARING LOSS NOT TO EXCEED:
   
      Frequency (Hz)        500       1000      2000
   
      Loss (db) better ear   30         25        25
                worse  ear   35         30        30
   
   
      BLOOD PRESSURE:        Preponderant systolic not to exceed
                             140, nor diastolic to exceed 90 mm Hg, measured
                             in a sitting position.
   
   o  Applicants height between 60 to 76 inches.
   
   

P I L O T A S T R O N A U T C A N D I D A T E P R O G R A M

Applicants MUST meet the following minimum qualification requirements.

   o  Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in
      engineering, biological or physical science, or mathematics. An
      advanced degree or equivalent experience is desired. Quality of
      academic preparation is important.
      
   o  At least 1000 hours pilot-in-command time in high performance jet
      aircraft (an aircraft having at least 3000 pounds of thrust per
      engine). Flight test experience is highly desirable.
   
   o  Ability to pass NASA Class I space flight physical (similar to military
      and civilian flight physicals) to include the following specific
      standards:
   
      DISTANT VISUAL ACUITY:    20/50 or better uncorrected;
                                correctable to 20/20 each eye.
   
      HEARING LOSS NOT TO EXCEED:
   
      Frequency (Hz)        500       1000      2000
   
      Loss (db)              30         25        25
   
   
      BLOOD PRESSURE         Preponderant systolic not to exceed
                             140, nor diastolic to exceed 90 mm Hg, measured
                             in a sitting position.
   
   o  Applicant height between 64 and 76 inches.
   
   

E D U C A T I O N R E Q U I R E M E N T S

Applicants for the Astronaut Candidate Program must meet the basic education requirements for NASA engineering and scientific positions, specifically successful completion of a standard professional curriculum in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's degree with major study in an appropriate field of engineering, biological or physical science, or mathematics.

The following degree fields which may be related to engineering and the sciences are not considered qualifying:

   o  Degrees in Technology; i.e. Engineering Technology, Aviation
      Technology, Medical Technology, etc.
   o  Degrees in Psychology (except Clinical, Physiological, or
      Experimental Psychology, which are considered qualifying).
   o  Degrees in Aviation, Aviation Management, or similar fields.

C I T I Z E N S H I P R E Q U I R E M E N T S

Current regulations require that preference for appointment to Astronaut Candidate positions be given to U.S. citizens when there is an adequate source of well qualified citizens available. NASA anticipates that there will be an adequate source of well qualified U.S. Citizens.

P A Y A N D B E N E F I T S

Salaries for civilian candidate will be based on the General Schedule pay scale of the Federal Government, generally ranging from GS-11 through GS-14. Candidates will be compensated in accordance with prevailing Federal pay scales based on their individual academic achievements and experience.

Other benefits include vacation and sick leave and participation in the Federal Government retirement, group health, and life insurance plans.

Selected military candidates will be detailed to the Johnson Space Center but will remain in an active military status for pay, benefits, leave, and other similar military matters.

— NASA-JSC, ANNOUNCEMENT NO. 3ACS-83 FOR MISSION SPECIALIST AND PILOT ASTRONAUT CANDIDATES, 1983.

"6_3_2_17.TXT" (441 bytes) was created on 07-08-92

ASTRONAUTS & PHYSICAL FITNESS

Several callers to NASA Spacelink have asked for details of an astronaut physical fitness training regimen. We have received the following response from the Johnson Space Center:

Astronauts stay in shape by running and working out in their fully furnished gymnasium at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. There is no set training schedule. Astronauts may exercise as they wish, as long as they stay fit.

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