Astronaut candidates will spend approximately two years training on the basic skills required to be an astronaut - from spacewalking and robotics to leadership and teamwork skills. Upon completing training, they will join the active astronaut corps and become eligible for spaceflight assignment. Until assigned a spaceflight, they will have responsibilities within the astronaut office ranging from supporting their fellow astronauts in space to advising on the development of new spacecraft.Learn more about this agency
Major duties of the astronaut position include, but are not limited to:
- - Conducting operations in space, including on the International Space Station (ISS) and in the development and testing of future spacecraft.
- - Performing extravehicular activities (EVA) and robotics operations using the remote manipulator system.
- - Conducting research experiments and operating as a safe member of an aircraft crew (including flight planning and communications) and spacecraft maintenance activities.
- - Participating in mission simulations to help themselves and flight controllers in the Mission Control Center operate in the dynamic environment of space.
- - Serving as the public face of NASA, providing appearances across the country and internationally, and sharing NASA's discoveries and goals.
76% or greater - Extensive travel required
Job family (Series)
Conditions of Employment
- U.S. Citizenship Required
- Frequent travel will be required
- Must complete a financial disclosure statement
- Must meet all qualification/education and experience requirements by the closing date of the announcement. See announcement for more details on Test Pilot School completion
- Applicants may only select ONE discipline group to apply under (See "Qualifications" section below)
- Selectees will be designated Astronaut Candidates and will undergo a training and evaluation period lasting approximately two years
- Applicants must submit ALL STEM related transcripts
- See announcement for additional information on employment conditions
QualificationsIn order to meet minimum qualifications for this position, all applicants must meet BOTH the Basic Education and Specialized Experience requirements:
BASIC EDUCATION REQUIREMENT
All applicants must meet at least ONE of the Basic Education requirements to be considered for this position. Qualifying international Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education is allowed as long as you submit proof of appropriate foreign education equivalency (see below for foreign education details). Applicants may also fulfill this requirement having completed a Test Pilot School (TPS) program or current enrollment in such a program if completed by June 2021. Note: If TPS is your only advanced technical degree, you must have also completed a bachelor's degree or higher (or foreign equivalent) at an accredited college or university with major study in an appropriate technical field of engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science, or mathematics.
To verify the education requirement, you must submit copies of official or non-official transcripts with your application showing a related STEM major field and date conferred, or Test Pilot School certification/enrollment from a nationally or internationally recognized program. While a bachelor's degree (or less) is not qualifying alone, you must submit ALL STEM related transcripts with your application.
The following degree fields, while related to engineering and the sciences, are NOT considered qualifying:
- - Degrees in Technology (Engineering Technology, Aviation Technology, Medical Technology, etc.)
- - Degrees in Psychology (except for Clinical Psychology, Physiological Psychology, or Experimental Psychology, which are qualifying)
- - Degrees in Nursing
- - Degrees in Exercise Physiology or similar fields
- - Degrees in Social Sciences (Geography, Anthropology, Archaeology, etc.)
- - Degrees in Aviation, Aviation Management, or similar fields
A. You must have completed a master's degree (or foreign equivalent) in an accredited college or university with major study in an appropriate technical field of engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science, or mathematics. (You must submit copies of official or non-official transcripts with your application showing major field and date degree was conferred.)
B. You must have completed at least two years (36 semester hours or 54 quarter hours) in an accredited Ph.D. or related doctoral degree program (or foreign equivalent) with major study in an appropriate technical field of engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science, or mathematics. (You must submit copies of official or non-official transcripts with your application showing major field of study and completed credit hours.)
C. You must have completed an M.D., D.O. or related doctoral degree (or foreign equivalent) in an accredited college or university. (You must submit copies of official or non-official transcripts with your application showing date degree conferred.)
D. You must have completed or be currently enrolled in a Test Pilot School program (nationally or internationally recognized) and will have completed this program by June 2021 (Must submit proof of completion or enrollment). If TPS is your only advanced technical degree, you must have also completed a bachelor's degree or higher (or foreign equivalent) at an accredited college or university with major study in an appropriate technical field of engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science, or mathematics. (You must submit copies of official or non-official transcripts with your application showing major field and date degree conferred)
SUB-DISCIPLINE SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENT
In addition to the Basic Education requirement, all applicants must meet the Sub-Discipline Specialized Experience requirements below under one of the designated sub-disciplines: Pilots, Flight Test, Biological and Medical Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Engineering and Operations. You mustselect the discipline you best qualify for based on the majority of your work experience.
For each discipline, applicants must have a minimum of 2 years (or 1,000 Pilot-in-Command hours for Pilots) of progressively responsible, professional experience after the completion of appropriate technical field degree(s). Experience could have been gained after the completion of a qualifying bachelor's degree, though this does not negate the requirement to still possess a higher level degree.
While you may qualify for multiple disciplines, only one selection below is permitted. Teaching experience, including experience at the K- 12 levels, is acceptable if it was in a related technical field and you also meet the initial education requirement.
A.PilotDiscipline - to qualify, you must:
- - Have a least 1,000 hours of Pilot-In-Command time in a high-performance jet aircraft (Please annotate total hours of high-performance jet aircraft demonstrated in resume)
- - Complete the Pilot Qualifications Form using the following link and attach as a supporting document to your application - Pilot Qualifications Form
B. Flight Test Discipline - to qualify, you must:
- - Have completed or be currently enrolled in a Test Pilot School program (nationally or internationally recognized) and will have completed this program by June 2021 (Must submit proof of completion or enrollment).
- - Have at least 2 years of professional experience after degree completion in a field related to Flight Test. You must certify that this experience was gained in a field related to this sub-discipline and be able to provide additional certification upon request. (Must be demonstrated in resume)
- - Note: Flight Test includes other military experience outside Pilot-in-Command experience or aircraft experience that does not qualify for the Pilot discipline. For example, flight test engineers; helicopter pilots; pilots of non-high performance jet aircraft; navigators, weapons systems officers/operators, back-seat qualified fliers, or other aircraft-related positions that may have led to the completion of Test Pilot School. Applicants with test experience but who have not enrolled in or completed Test Pilot School should select the Engineering and Operations sub-discipline.
- - Complete the Pilot Qualifications Form using the following link and attach as a supporting document to your application - Pilot Qualifications Form
C. Biological and Medical Science Discipline - to qualify, you must:
- - Have at least 2 years of professional experience after degree completion in a field related to Biological and Medical Sciences. You must certify that this experience was gained in a field related to this sub-discipline and be able to provide additional certification upon request. (Must be demonstrated in resume)
D. Physical Science Discipline - to qualify, you must:
- - Have at least 2 years of professional experience after degree completion in a field related to Physical Science. You must certify that this experience was gained in a field related to this sub-discipline and be able to provide additional certification upon request. (Must be demonstrated in resume)
E. Engineering and Operations Discipline - to qualify, you must:
- - Have at least 2 years of professional experience after degree completion in a field related to Engineering and Operations. You must certify that this experience was gained in a field related to this sub-discipline and be able to provide additional certification upon request. (Must be demonstrated in resume)
IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC AND LIST ALL RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE (EVEN IF OUTSIDE OF YOUR CHOSEN DISCIPLINE GROUP). WE WILL NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE.
Education must be attained at an accredited institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to satisfy qualifications. You MUST provide transcripts to support your educational claims. Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/search.aspx. All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly. Note: If you are selected for this position, an official transcript will be required, prior to your first day. You must meet all qualification requirements by 03/31/2020, the closing date of this announcement, with Test Pilot School completion by June 2021, if applicable. For further information, visit: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html.
Special Instructions for Foreign Education: If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs, and that such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or that full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. For further information, visit: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html. Translated transcripts are required.
Drug Testing: Selectees will be required to submit to a drug test to screen for illegal drug use. As a condition of continued employment, the incumbent will be subject to random drug testing.
Background Investigation: Selectees will be required to undergo and pass a thorough background investigation prior to a final offer of employment.
Fitness Testing: Selectees will be required to pass an Agency Physical Fitness Test prior to a final offer of employment. As a condition of continued employment, the incumbent will be subject to periodic fitness testing and must pass the Agency Physical Fitness Test requirements.
Medical and Psychiatric Examination: Selectees will be required to undergo and pass a thorough medical and psychiatric examination prior to a final offer of employment. As a condition of continued employment, the incumbent is subject to periodic medical and psychiatric examinations and must be able to meet the medical and psychiatric standard requirements for the position.
Swimming Test: Astronaut Candidates will be required to pass a swimming test during the first month of training.
Long Duration Missions: Long-duration missions aboard the International Space Station can last 12 months or longer. Training for long-duration missions is very arduous and takes approximately two to three years. This training requires extensive travel, including long periods away in other countries training with NASA's international partners.
Hazardous Environment: Due to the strenuous nature of the astronaut duties and the associated training programs, selected candidates will be exposed to physically taxing activities (e.g. being in confined spaces, being under water for extended periods of training, and working in potentially dangerous situations).
Reasonable Accommodation Requests: If you believe you have a disability (i.e., physical or mental), covered by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended and Americans with Disabilities Act 1990 as amended, that would interfere with completing the USA Hire Assessments, you will be granted the opportunity to request a reasonable accommodation in your online application. Requests for Reasonable Accommodations for the USA Hire Assessments and appropriate supporting documentation for Reasonable Accommodation must be received prior to starting the USA Hire Assessments. Decisions on requests for Reasonable Accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis. If you meet the minimum qualifications of the position, after notification of the adjudication of your request, you will receive an email invitation to complete the USA Hire Assessments. You must complete all assessments within 48 hours of receiving the URL to access the USA Hire Assessments, if you received the link after the close of the announcement. To determine if you need a Reasonable Accommodation, please review the Procedures for Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation for Online Assessments here: https://help.usastaffing.gov/Apply/index.php?title=Reasonable_Accommodations_for_USA_Hire
The pay rates shown reflect the 2020 pay schedules and are an approximation. These rates will be adjusted to reflect any increase in 2021.
This is an interdisciplinary position. The position may be established in any one of a variety of federal occupations/series: engineering, science, or mathematics. The specific classification will depend on the qualifications of the selectees.
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
Applying to the Astronaut Candidate program is a multi-stage process. Initially, you will be evaluated based on how well you meet the minimum qualifications listed in this vacancy announcement. Your minimum qualifications will be evaluated based on your application materials (e.g., resume, supporting documents) and the responses you provide to the online application, which assess critical requirements of the astronaut job. Based on the answers you provided on the initial online assessment, you may be asked to complete additional online assessments. During subsequent stages of the selection process, you may be asked to complete in-person assessments, simulations, role plays and interviews.
Throughout the selection process, you will be assessed on your ability to demonstrate competencies related to the astronaut job such as:
- - Communicate information and ideas via written, oral, and visual media
- - Make informed and sound decisions in challenging situations to accomplish mission goals
- - Sustain motivation, display initiative, and high standards of ethical conduct
- - Relate well to others including those from varied backgrounds and in different situations
- - Work well with others to achieve goals both as a leader and a follower
- - Learn and utilize complex technical information (e.g., troubleshoot, diagnose, analyze, and identify system malfunctions to determine the source and cause of the problem)
- - Applicability and strength of the applicant's educational preparation
- - Relevance and diversity of the applicant's work experience, with a priority on operational experience
- - Strength of the candidate's technical experience in their field of expertise
- - Demonstrated experience working and performing on a team
In order to be rated as meeting the minimum qualifications, we must be able to determine from your application package that you have the education and specialized experience that is required. Applicants who have qualifying experience performed on a less-than-full-time basis must specify the percentage and length of time spent in performance of such duties.
Waivers are not granted for degree or experience requirements. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements by the closing date of the announcement, with Test Pilot School completion by June 2021, if applicable.
Interviews, medical and psychiatric screening and additional assessments will be required for applicants under final consideration. Selected applicants will be designated astronaut candidates and will undergo a training and evaluation period lasting approximately two years. Selection into the Astronaut Candidate Program does not guarantee selection as an astronaut. Final selection as an astronaut will depend upon satisfactory completion of the training and evaluation period. Graduation from the Astronaut Candidate Program will require successful completion of the following: spacecraft systems training, Extravehicular Activity (EVA) skills training, robotics skills training, Russian language training, aircraft flight readiness training, and team skills training, among others.
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
To apply for this position, you must provide a complete application package by the closing date of this announcement. Your application packet must include:
- Your resume showing relevant experience
- - Only resumes developed using USAJOBS Resume Builder will be accepted. Please be thorough in your resume completion, addressing each section.
- - You must provide at least five references in your resume (including your most recent supervisor).
- A complete online application, to include online assessment and questionnaire
- All transcript(s) from an accredited university where applicable degrees were earned or Test Pilot School completion/enrollment
- - Please attach ALL STEM related transcripts (bachelors or higher)
- - Please do not attach non-qualifying transcripts or certifications
- For those with ANY flight experience, please fill out the following form and attach as a supporting document to your application (this is a requirement for those applying under the Pilot and Flight Test sub-disciplines). Pilot Qualifications Form
- If you are requesting a reasonable accommodation to the USA Hire Assessments, submit documentation to support your request, including the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form found here.
- Other supporting documents (submit if applicable to you)
Note: Documents indicating veteran's' preference are not being collected at this point. NASA intends to apply veterans' preference among candidates in later stages of this selection process.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
- Your resume showing relevant experience
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
How to Apply
Please read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin an application. To apply for this position, you must build and attach a resume using the USAJOBS resume builder, complete the initial online application, to include the initial online assessment and questionnaire, and submit the required documentation specified in the Required Documents section below. The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time) on the closing date of the announcement to receive consideration. The application process is as follows:
- To begin the application process, click the Apply Online button.
- Build and submit a resume using the USAJOBS resume builder.
- Answer the questions presented in the online application and attach all necessary supporting documentation.
- Click the Submit Application button prior to 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time) on the announcement closing date.
- After submitting an online application, you will be notified whether or not you are required to take additional online assessments through the USA Hire Assessment system. This message will be delivered to you both on screen and via email notification and may take up to 30 mins to receive (please also monitor your spam/junk folders).
- If you are asked to take the USA Hire assessments, you will be presented with a unique URL to access the USA Hire Assessment system. Access to USA Hire is granted through your USAJOBS login credentials. Be sure to review all instructions prior to beginning your USA Hire Assessments. Click here for Computer System Requirements
- Note, set aside at least 2 hours to take the USA Hire assessments; however, most applicants complete the assessments in less time. If you need to stop the assessments and continue at a later time, you can re-use the URL sent to you via email. The link can also be found on the Additional Application Information page that can be located in the application record in your USAJOBS account.
To verify the status of your application both during and after the announcement open period, log into your USAJOBS account: USAJOBS Account Login. All of your applications will appear on the Welcome page. The application record in your USAJOBS account provides an Additional Application Information page that provides information regarding the documentation you submitted and any correspondence we have sent related to this application. The Application Status will appear along with the date your application was last updated. For information on what each Application Status means, visit: https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/how-to/application/status/
All application documentation must be received by the closing date of the announcement in order to be considered and have a complete application. Documentation mailed or emailed to the Astronaut Selection Office will not be considered. All previous applicants MUST reapply and complete the entire application process. https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/10711462
All information is subject to verification. Applicants are advised that false answers or omissions of information on application materials or inability to meet the conditions outlined in this announcement may be grounds for non-selection, withdrawal of an offer of employment or dismissal after being employed. Please read the announcement in its entirety before applying.
Agency contact information
AddressLYNDON B JOHNSON SPACE CENTER
2101 E NASA Pkwy
Houston, TX 77058
Based on your application and your responses to the online application, you may be presented with instructions on how to access the USA Hire Assessment system to complete the online assessments. The online assessments may be completed at any time throughout the announcement open period but no later than 48 hours following the close of this announcement. Note: It is to your benefit to apply early to ensure you have adequate time to complete your application and assessments. Currently, the assessment window will close on Thursday, April 02 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. Although not anticipated, if the application window is extended, the deadline for completing these assessments would be 48 hours after the new close date at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. You will have the opportunity to request a testing accommodation for the assessment should you have a disability covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Your assessment results will be kept on record for one year and used toward future positions for which you might apply that require the same assessments.
Due to the anticipated high number of applicants and the multiple stages in the assessment process, status notifications will be limited throughout the selection process. Please note, requests for feedback will only be provided to those invited to the interview stage. You may check your initial application status by accessing the USAJOBS website and clicking "Application Status." The amount of notices each applicant receives may vary.
The selection process is estimated to take approximately one (1) year to complete. NASA anticipates announcing a new class of astronauts in the early Summer 2021. Final notification of your status will be sent at that time. Multiple selections may be made under this announcement. Selected candidates will report for duty at the Johnson Space Center in the Fall of 2021.
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.
Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:
- An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Legal and regulatory guidance
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/561186900. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.