What do I have to do to become an astronaut?

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What do I have to do to become an…

There is no such thing as an Astronauts University, nor a master’s degree that will pave the way to outer space. If your dream is to put a spacesuit on and fly up to see the Earth from space, this article is for you. How is the European selection process, how long does it take, what are the requirements?

The first thing you need to know is that this is not an easy goal. And that all skills are welcome and add up to your candidature. As far as becoming an astronaut is concerned, more is more. A high level of education in scientific or technical disciplines is required, along with a strong professional background in research or education. It is also advisable to have skills in computer systems and applications.

However, others previous experiences will give you extra points, such as being a test pilot or flight engineer. To build up such an extensive CV that takes time, so the average age of applicants is 27-37 years old. Another key feature needed by potential astronauts is psychological maturity, plus the ability to withstand pressure. These will be intensively tested to guarantee that the candidates can bear the great responsibility of being in orbit.

As the saying goes, the only people who never fail are those who never try. However, it is true that there are not many opportunities to set sail for the cosmos. The first European astronauts were Claude Nicollier from Switzerland, Wubbo Ockels from the Netherlands and Ulf Merbold from Germany. Currently there are 14 astronauts in the European Space Corps, from 7 different countries.