Do you also dream of becoming an astronaut abroad? If there is anything that has inspired us more than film stars are space scientists. Most of those who saw the picture of Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin and Michael Collins walking on the low gravity of the moon, have at least once dreamt of becoming astronauts. Astronomy is that vast science that can allow you to realise your dream of becoming an astronaut abroad. There was a time when this dream used to fade with time for many people but now as more and more countries are progressing towards space exploration Astronomy is being adopted as a common subject. If you want to avoid shelving your dreams read along to know how to become an astronaut abroad.
This Blog Includes:
- What do Astronauts do?
- Types of Astronauts
- How to Become an Astronaut Abroad?
- Is it Hard to Become an Astronaut?
- Best Countries to Become an Astronaut
- Required Qualifications to Become an Astronaut Abroad
- Best Universities
- Required Skills to Become an Astronaut Abroad
- Salary & Career Prospects
What do Astronauts do?
Astronauts have diverse roles to play at a space station; their duties depend on where they are posted in spacecraft. One can be a commander in the lead of the operation and take important calls at the mission. This job is for experienced astronauts as those who have had previous successful space missions and have great problem-solving skills.
The job also involves being a pilot of the spacecraft. For instance, if we consider the first moon mission, Neil Armstrong was the mission commander while the other astronauts were pilots. Other roles involve specialist positions such as mechanics, space electronics specialists and running special errands. Spacecraft monitoring and maintenance is also one of the essential tasks carried out by the astronauts.
Types of Astronauts
So, yes, let’s break the myth! Astronauts are not just astronauts and there are two main types of astronauts needed in space missions. We have already mentioned these before, however, let’s segregate better this time;
- Pilots: The astronauts responsible for taking the spacecraft to its destination and navigating it through various locations are the pilots. They can be mission commanders or pilots. Extensive training sessions replicating space conditions are required to get into these roles.
- Mission Specialists: They also work closely with the pilot and the mission commander but have special dedicated roles for the mission. They are responsible for various onboard operations and also conduct experiments, maintain equipment and monitor the shuttle’s consumables.
Also Read: How to Become a Space Scientist in ISRO?
How to Become an Astronaut Abroad?
It is not like in the movie for sure. Therefore, it does not take a song or just a motivating speech from someone to break all barriers and become an astronaut. It needs determination, qualifications, rigorous training and skills to become an astronaut. If you want to follow the path you need to follow to become one, follow the steps given below.
- Choose the science stream with chemistry, physics and mathematics as mandatory subjects in Class 11th and 12th.
- Make sure you score well and understand the concepts of the subjects thoroughly.
- Attain a bachelor’s degree in the science field with a focus on these three subjects. Make sure you attain a good score.
- Bonus tip: Alongside your studies, try going for a research internship or project at your college or around that makes your skills marketable.
- Attain a master’s or doctorate degree in related specialised fields from well-accredited and recognised universities.
- Go for specialisations in subjects like mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics or aerospace engineering.
- Sit for various competitive exams organised by various space research organisations abroad.
- Make sure you fulfil the language requirements for the country whose space station you are targeting.
- Another very important factor to maintain throughout is physical fitness and training. Though the research organisation will train you for the space it is required for you to have an agile and fit body to be selected for training in the first place.
Is it Hard to Become an Astronaut?
Yes, it is difficult to become an astronaut. Though if you are dedicated to your dream all this will seem worth it. It takes rigorous training, physical fitness, knowledge of space physics and chemistry, endurance, flight experience and much more to become an astronaut or to successfully go into space.
Even when one does get selected by a space agency it takes a long time before you can actually go into space. These training and eligibility requirements are for the safety of the astronauts and the space mission itself. It is a big responsibility that the Astronauts execute, however, they are trained in such challenging problem-solving skills over time.
Best Countries to Become an Astronaut
If you are willing to launch your astronomical career abroad, this list will help you choose the best countries for the purpose. The countries mentioned here have their own successful space research programs and have conducted several successful space missions. We have deliberately ignored the USA and India to include some less talked about space agencies. Here is the list;
- Republic of Korea (South Korea): They have their Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI). The aerospace missions in the country have launched 43 objects into space. 14 objects among these were satellites from the KARI.
- Canada: Of course, being the tech giant Canada had to be included in the list. Their well-known space station is the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The country has made great contributions to the International Space Station (ISS) and has launched 82 objects in space so far.
- France: The country has a space agency called the National Centre for Space Studies (CNES). Moreover, France also makes contributions to the European Space Agency (ESA). As of 2021, the country has launched 130 objects in space.
- Germany: Germany has launched 114 objects in space as of 2021. It has a German Aerospace Center which also contributes to the European Space Agency. It is among the first few countries to have developed capabilities for rocket propulsion.
- Luxembourg: This country has a unique interest in stimulating the field of asteroid mining, unlike other countries that focus on satellites, human flight in space etc. According to the last calculations made, Luxembourg has launched around 53 objects in space.
- Italy: The country has honoured Galileo’s telescope to make some of the finest contributions to space exploration. Italy has a dedicated Italian Space Agency and also contributes to the international space station in missions like the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART).
Required Qualifications to Become an Astronaut Abroad
Here are some generic requirements to become an astronaut abroad.
- You must have a Bachelor’s and Master’s or Doctorate degree in STEM-oriented subjects.
- Additionally, your degree must be from a recognised university.
- You must pass the fitness test of the space agency.
- Some agencies also require you to have previous work experience.
- Lastly, you must be able to learn the skills required in space.
What Do You Learn While Being Trained as an Astronaut?
If you already think being an Astronaut is so cool, here are things that you learn while being trained as an astronaut that will make it sound even more adventurous.
- You will learn to pilot the T-38 supersonic jet aircraft.
- Also, you will learn the art of spacewalking.
- There is also training on flight operations and safety on the mission.
- Learn how to operate robotic arms.
- Training to survive in space and some first aid tricks will always come in handy.
- Lastly, there is also training on Cultural sensitivity.
Also Read: Aerospace Engineering in Germany
Here are the best universities to Receive a degree for becoming an Astronaut abroad.
|University of California, Berkeley||27|
|University of Washington||80|
|Auburn University||1001 – 1200|
|University of Texas||72|
|University of Colorado—Boulder||317|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||1|
|University of Cambridge||2|
|University of Toronto||34|
|University of Oxford||4|
Required Skills to Become an Astronaut Abroad
Here is a complete list of skills that you must work on in order to become an Astronaut.
- Potential to trust
- Intelligence and presence of mind
- Physical stamina
- Patience & Calmness
- English and other foreign languages
Salary & Career Prospects
Based on Glassdoor calculations an Astronaut at Nasa earns nearly INR 11,762,024 per year on average. If we look at the starting annual packages at various destinations, here is the result; Canada – 50.67 L, Europe – 37.70 L, USA – 50.82 L and Russia – 51.43 L.
For sure being an Astronaut is an unparalleled adventure and Leverage Edu trusts your dreams more than you do! However, if you still want to look for alternate options to becoming an Astronaut, here are some interesting careers to pursue;
- Aerospace Engineer
- Atmospheric Scientist
- Planetary Scientist
- Earth Observation Scientist
These are the people who design space missions and make space exploration possible in the first place. If curiosity is pushing your veins out, then one of these might be your destined career.
Also Read: How to Become a Space Scientist?
Approximately, it takes around 10 years to become an Astronaut or to go into space. If we divide it properly, it will take 3-4 years to complete your Bachelor’s, then 2 years for your Master’s, 2 years of gaining experience and then around 2-3 years of training before you start exploring space.
The best degrees to become an Astronaut are in STEM Science. You can pursue Aeronautical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering or any other degree with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics as core subjects to become an Astronaut.
Yes, with the right qualifications and training, Indians can become astronauts at NASA. In fact, Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams are some of the famous Indian astronauts who have worked at NASA among many others.
This was all about becoming an Astronaut abroad. If you wish to have more information about becoming astronauts or space scientists you ask us through comments or download the Leverage App to get your queries answered in real time. To continue receiving information on such topics stay tuned to Leverage Edu.