Astronauts fascinate most of us because their trips into outer space are definitely not an everyday thing. Becoming an astronaut is not easy and it is not something everyone can do.
Astronaut’ means space (astro) sailor (naut). Sailing through space is tough and there are precise procedures to follow which demand qualifications and experience.
The road to becoming an astronaut is not too unlike what we do to enter other professions. You will need a degree, some experience and good eyesight. People who want to become an astronaut will hopefully benefit from what I have written in this article. I will explain what you have to do, and what to study to become an astronaut. Hopefully, I will give you the answers you need.
What to study to become an astronaut
I will make it simple for you, Readers. The main subjects you can study if you want to become an astronaut are: physics, astrophysics, astronomy and geology. If you are still young and thinking of becoming an astronaut the first thing you need to do is study hard at school and focus more on subjects like mathematics and physics. This will make your ‘astronaut knowledge’ base strong and hopefully build your interest. Becoming engrossed and excited by these subjects is important because you’ll need to study them later in your academic career as core subjects.
You should also have an approach to learning that means you gain the most knowledge you can. This will help you to see yourself as a space scientist later in life. You will gain great satisfaction once you realize the outcome of the study you have done. After all you may be sailing through space at long last!
Working for your Bachelor’s degree
Did you know there are different types of astronaut? I will tell you about what to study to become an astronaut in each field.
Commander and pilot astronauts:
Commander and pilot astronauts are the ones who have the responsibility for absolutely everything that happens in the aircraft as well as the people in the aircraft. Their role is to make the mission a success and return safely to Earth with all the crew members.
To become a pilot and commander astronaut you need to have an engineering, physics, science, mathematics or biological science Bachelor’s degree. Choose what to study from these totally depending on your interest. Once you have decided on the subject or degree program, you should be consider which field of astronaut grabs you the most. Deciding this can be a difficult task and you might need a career counselor’s advice. Ask them to help you decide the type of astronaut you want to become because this is what determines your field of study.
Mission specialist astronauts:
The main duty for a mission specialist astronaut is to make sure the purpose of the mission is followed and completed in time. They should have some important knowledge about the aircraft and the functions in it.
A mission specialist needs a Bachelor’s degree in engineering. A Master’s or Doctoral degree in the respective fields can be substituted for the experience requirements, where a PhD counts as three years’ experience.
Choosing the subjects and the field is just the start. You should realize that becoming an astronaut requires long hours of study. In no way do I want to demotivate you, but once you have decided to become an astronaut, you need to work very hard to make it your profession. You need, at the bare minimum, a good Bachelor’s degree, with high marks.
Which universities offer what I need to study to become an astronaut?
Now that you have decided on the field that interests you the most, start looking for accredited universities which offer the best quality of education in that field. The degree programs you can enroll in include: engineering of aerospace, astronomy or astrological physics. Counselors can also help you to pick the best university for you to fulfill your ambition.
Once you are enrolled, start looking to join some agency or student chapter that will help you in relation to the degree and your field of space science. The degree takes several years so you have time to prepare before applying to a company or government agency to gain experience.
Look for internship opportunities. Internships can be very useful when looking for work and employers do value them. Once you are hired and working towards becoming a space scientist in your chosen field, remain focused and don’t lose your grip. You have worked hard, but now is not the time to relax. You still need around three years’ experience in a professional role!
Finally, I want to advise all you people who want to become an astronaut that it is one of the most difficult professions in the world. They literally have to spend time out of this world. They need survival strategies on top of their academic achievements. What to study to become and astronaut is really only the start. Space sailing is the conclusion.