How to become an astronaut?

missions

First, the term “astronaut” or “astronaut” means any person who is part of a crew who is sent on a mission to space.

They are above all scientists, doing many physical, chemical and observational experiments when they are on a mission or when they are on the ground. Among the many tasks entrusted to them are these areas which occupy the most important part of their days.

But astronauts also have to wear their mechanics hat when it comes to carrying out maintenance work around the space station. These missions can sometimes materialize in the form of outings outside of vehicles, thus requiring them to wear their own suits to do the work around the International Space Station, the International Space Station.

Finally, they also play the role of guinea pigs for the agencies that hire them. Each crew member is already subject to a very strict physical exercise schedule, which varies according to the astronaut’s build, weight and gender. Observations regarding the development and health of their organism are made during their stay in space, and then upon their return to Earth.

Because of the large number of tasks to be accomplished, the hours of free time given to astronauts can be counted with fingertips (55 working hours per week). This is due to the high cost of each task and the multitasking that has to be accomplished during the week. However, these rare moments of emptiness allow them to observe what few humans can see during their lifetime: the Earth, at an altitude of more than 400 km.

Studies/training to become an astronaut?

First note: In Europe, there is no university or astronaut school. It is the European Space Agency based in Cologne, Germany, which, having recruited you among the best candidates, will provide you with training and will prepare you for the task for which you are directed. The criteria to be selected for competitions are very strict and you can only introduce yourself if you are between 27 and 37 years old, measure between 1.50m and 1.90m and in good health.

But then, what training do you need to do to hope to become an astronaut? If we look at the profiles of French astronauts for 30 years (Thomas Pesquet, Jean-François Clairvoy, Claudie Henri, Patrick Baudry, Michel Tonini), there are two main categories of profiles of interest to the space agency:

  1. Flight Specialists (Fighter Pilot, flight pilotAnd flight engineer) warrant a minimum of 1,000 flight hours.
  2. Doctoral scientists specializing in fields of the future, such as biology, biochemistry, astronomy, astrophysics….

Besides their backgrounds, astronauts have these three traits in common:

  1. Great physique
  2. Proficiency in many foreign languages ​​(English, Russian, Chinese, etc.)
  3. Great ability to work in a team, through cohesion and social adaptation

If you plan to follow this path, we recommend that you develop your athletic skills by training, if you have the opportunity, skydiving (in order to learn to evolve in a hostile environment and gain great balance) and diving (to simulate EVAs).

In addition, traveling abroad and living in an unfamiliar environment will help you gain important social experience and improve your language skills.

Finally, a consistent motivation is required to become an astronaut, given the competition you will face and the large number of personal sacrifices you will have to make. However, if your passion for space and aviation guides you, don’t give up and cling to your dream of flying into space, until you can make it come true one day.

wages

astronaut salary Indexed on the network (COs), is a function of rank and other parameters.

At the beginning of a career (second degree): from 6,197 euros to 6,927 euros per month
• After basic astronaut training (3rd grade): from €7,647 to €8,464 net per month
• After the first flight in space (class 4): net price from 8,886 euros to 9,778 euros per month

career development

The ultimate goal of any astronaut is to be selected for a space mission.

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