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Becoming an Astronaut

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You probably think that all astronauts are basically the same - as long as you go through all that crazy training, you're good to go. Well, real life astronauts are a little more specialized than the ones in Armageddon. Kidzworld is here to give you the lowdown on who NASA sends into space and what they do.

Astronauts - Prepare to Blast Off

Future astronauts should be prepared to be in school for a long time cuz you'll need to get a bachelor's degree in engineering, biological science, physical science or math, and then get a graduate's degree. You also need to be in excellent shape - to be accepted to astronaut training, you must pass a tough physical exam, which includes swimming three lengths of an Olympic-size swiming pool in a flightsuit and sneakers!

Astronauts - The Commander

The Commander maneuvers the space shuttle, along with the Pilot, and is responsible for the shuttle, crew, mission success and safety of the flight. In order to become the Commander of a space mission, you must have a degree in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics. You must also have previous flying experience (1,000 or more hours on a jet aircraft) and pass a NASA Class I space physical.

Astronauts - The Pilot

The Pilot assists the Commander in controlling and operating the vehicle on a space mission. A Pilot must have the same education and pass all the same tests as the Commander, but isn't in charge of the mission itself. A Pilot will also assist with any other duties that need to be attended to during a mission, like the release and recovery of satellites or other experiments.

Click here to read more about the types of astronauts that NASA sends into space.

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