It’s the dream of countless little kids: grow up, become an astronaut. But what’s it actually like to hold that job title?
NASA stipulates that qualified applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in a field of science, technology, engineering or math. Post-graduate study or work experience is also required. The space agency has trained astronauts with all sorts of backgrounds — such as a medical doctor, oceanographer, even a veterinarian.
Physical demands can be onerous. Applicants need good eyesight, must stand between 5’2″ and 6’3″ and have good blood pressure (“not to exceed 140/90” in a sitting position).
Candidates also must pass a difficult endurance test and impress the NASA team during a series of interviews.