Earlier this month, NASA announced its newest class of astronauts – the result of an 18-month process that narrows down the applicant pool from 18,300 hopefuls to eight to 14 candidates.
So how do you become a NASA astronaut?
There are, of course, the basic requirements: U.S. citizenship, a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field, at least three years of related experience or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time. What constitutes “related experience,” though? Military experience would count, of course, but experience as a K-12 teacher is also considered acceptable.
Once the minimum requirements have been checked off, candidates move on to callbacks. You’ll start by being interviewed by the 50-person Astronaut Rating Panel, who narrow the pool down to a few hundred highly-qualified applicants who pass on to a reference check. Those remaining after the reference check meet with the dozen or so team members who make up the Astronaut Selection Board. The first cut of this interview cuts the applicant pool down to 120. Second interviews and additional screening reduce it further to the 50 top candidates.
The final selections are made after analyzing candidates “expeditionary skills.” What exactly are “expeditionary skills?” They’re the hard and soft skills that make candidates successful leaders and teammates. Things like technical expertise, emotional intelligence, cultural competency, good self-care and team-care, excellent communications skills, leadership skills, the ability to listen well, initiative, decisiveness and followership skills are all important for astronauts.
This posts contains excerpts from a story published by Fast Company. Read the original story here>>