Astronauts conduct experiments and gather information while in space flight, including on the International Space Station. They also conduct experiments with the spacecraft itself to develop new concepts in design, engineering, and the navigation of a vehicle outside the earth's atmosphere.

Quick Facts
Duties Conduct experiments and gather information while in outer space; fly spacecraft
Alternate Title(s) Commanders, Flight Engineers, Mission Specialists
Salary Range $50,000 to $100,000+
Employment Prospects Poor
Advancement Prospects Fair
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) All NASA astronauts work at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas
Education and Training
  • Bachelor's Degree
Related School Subjects
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
Experience At least three years of related experience or at least 1,000 hours of pilot in-command time in jet aircraft
  • Leadership
  • Math
  • Scientific
Personality Traits
  • Hands On
  • Scientific
  • Technical
Licensure/Certification None
Special Requirements Must pass a NASA space physical and meet requirements for blood pressure, height, and vision
Career Ladder
  • Manager at NASA or in the Private Aerospace Industry
  • Mission Commander
  • Astronaut
  • Astronaut Candidate

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