NASA is currently recruiting a new astronaut corps. I decided to dig into this a little bit (shocking, I know).
Here’s the proper link to the NASA news piece about the astronaut program. For those who are interested but don’t want to drill down through the NASA pages, here are some interesting (to me) factoids about astronauts:
- The average age of astronauts is 34. I assume this means “at the time of selection”.
- You have to be between 5’2″ and 6’3″ in height (so I barely fit…)
- The pay scale is less than you might think. The base pay ranges from the GS-11 level (around $60k) topping out in the GS-14 level ($80k-110k). I’m sure there are other benefits. And, of course, Space.
- The most recent astronaut cadré (Group 21, a.ka. “The 8-balls”) was announced in 2011, selected in 2013, and will finish its 2-year training run this year. About half the group graduated from a military test pilot academy, and one of the non-test pilots was a naval aviator. There’s one flight surgeon and then several civilian scientists with advanced degrees to round out the group. All in all, this is a group of people I would love to grab a drink with.