NASA is the dream for every science student. A total of 12,000 applicants have applied to become astronauts at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The applications have been received to become a part of the NASA’s Artemis Generation division, which showcases the agency’s renewed focus on sending humans on the Moon and Mars, Space.com reported. The second highest Tally of the applications received by the American space agency from the aspiring astronauts. In 2016, the agency has received a record number of 18,300 applications for its astronaut classes which successfully graduated early this year in January.
The drop in the number of applications can be attributed to a fact that NASA had upgraded the criteria for eligibility, they allow only those with a Masters in Science, Maths, or Engineering to apply for the post. It had also curtailed the window to apply for the job-reducing it from 2 months earlier to one month this time.
The NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine says, “this was a whole new era of space exploration that was being ushered with Artemis Generation, and the agency was very excited to have received applications from so many exceptional and incredible candidates. the new class of astronauts will help the agency explore more about the Moon than before and lead the agency to the Red Planet. NASA had opened the registration process for applications on March 2 and the agency expected to receive a large number of candidates. The registrations came to a close on March 31. After decades of flying low in the Earth’s orbits, the agency is again aiming high for the Moon program with the Artemis program. The mission aims to send the next man and the first woman to the Moon by the year 2024. The grinding task of selecting a handful of applicants out of the 12,000 applications will ensue after which the agency will announce the final selection.”
Anne Roemer, the Manager of the Astronaut Selection Board told that they have a very diverse and strong pool of applications to choose from. The long process of the selection will culminate by mid-2021. The few candidates which have been chosen will be trained for the next two-and-a-half-years before they get ready to embark on the space missions. The wait to become part of the space crew does not end there as very tough competition for becoming part of the crew ensures.