NASA is planning a human mission to Mars for the 2030’s. And this week, the agency opened its application process for the next class of space travelers. “Going to Mars, a human journey to Mars, I think absolutely is a renaissance. I think we’ve captivated not just the U.S. but the world,” said NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman. Newman hopes a record-breaking number of qualified Americans apply to NASA’s astronaut class of 2017. “The background is really important,” Newman said. “How are people as leaders? How are they in a team? We have a really rigorous selection board.” Applicants must be a U.S. citizen with a bachelor’s degree in engineering, biological or physical science or mathematics. They also should have three years of relevant experience, or at least 1,000 hours piloting a jet. The physical exam is another hurdle. “It takes an extraordinary person,” Newman said. In addition to the intellectual and physical qualifications, the ideal candidate must also have operational skills. “How do you make decisions? How do you work in teams? Because you are making critical decisions and in human space flight, you are making life and death decisions,” Newman said. There have been 338 NASA astronauts ranging… Read full this story
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