Has Tim Peake given you the space travel bug? Here's what it takes to be an astronaut with Nasa

 
Sarah Spickernell
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International Space Station
The application is for a mission that will take place in the 2030's (Source: Getty)

If you felt a surge of jealousy while watching Tim Peake make his way to the International Space Station (ISS) yesterday, worry no more – Nasa has just opened applications for its latest space programme. And this time, you could end up travelling to Mars.

The bad news is that its most recent application process was anything to go by, the chances of being accepted will be slim – more than 6,000 people applied and only eight were selected in 2011, and the US space agency is expecting a similar result this time round.

The application process will be open until 18 February, and the lucky few will be chosen in 2016 to potentially become the first humans to travel to Mars in the 2030s.

Read more: British astronaut Tim Peake is going to run the 2016 London Marathon in space

You'll be paid between $66,000 and $145,000 a year (not sure what the exchange rate is on Mars) and you'll have to move to Houston, Texas.

Those who are selected will spend at least a year being trained alongside the other successful candidates, learning skills such as spacewalking and robotics, and undergoing mission simulations.

Do you have what it takes? An unfortunate requirement for UK nationals is the need to have a US passport.

But the physical and academic needs will be similar to other astronaut programmes, such as those run by the European Space Agency, which selected Peake.

Still - below are the main academic and experience requirements to become an astronaut with Nasa.

HOW TO BE AN ASTRONAUT - ACADEMIC/EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS

  • A bachelor's degree in physical science, biological science, maths or engineering
  • Three years of relevant experience
  • If no astronaut experience, then at least 1,000 hours spent piloting a jet
  • If no astronaut experience or piloting experience, then a relevant PhD

It's not just about how bright you are and how much knowledge or experience you have in the relevant areas, though – there is also a rigorous physical training test you have to pass. While fitness is of course crucial, there are also some non-negotiables you need to make sure apply to you before applying.

HOW TO BE AN ASTRONAUT - PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

  • High level of physical fitness
  • Good eyesight - at or close to 20/20 vision
  • Good blood pressure - not exceeding 140/90
  • Standing height of between 62 inches and 75 inches (that's 5ft 1 to 6ft 2.5)

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