To be an astronaut you need to specialise in aeronautical /aerospace engineering at an advanced level. The men and women who make it to America’s astronaut corps must possess a unique blend of personality traits. A glance at the biographies of the less than one percent aspirants who do make it through NASA’s weeklong screening process reveals top scholars, decorated pilots and accomplished scientists.
Astronauts spend years training before they can lift off into space. They learn to operate shuttles, perform experiments in zero gravity (and eat bugs if they must survive in the wilderness should a practice flight go out of control).
Early missions used to be short and dangerous. Now astronauts are trained for the long haul. So, you must be capable of negotiating long periods of isolation, extended confinement, boredom and uncertainty drawing on inner resources to sustain yourself.
Interestingly, over 1/3rd of NASA employees are of Indian origin. The NASA-Ames Research Centre has implemented a new automated recruiting and staffing system called NASA STARS. For more information on how to apply, please visit the NASA website: www.hr.arc.nasa.gov/students/index. html.
For information on other student programmes or job opportunities, visit the following websites:
NASA Jobs: www.nasajobs.nasa.gov
Federal Government Student Jobs: www.studentjobs.gov