Special Report

30 Special Skills You Need to Become an Astronaut

Do you have the right stuff to be an astronaut?

Becoming an astronaut is harder than getting into an Ivy League school. Only 338 have even been selected by NASA. In 2016, more than 18,300 people applied for 14 or fewer spots in NASA’s astronaut class. They are hoping to leave their footprint in space.

Astronaut candidates have to endure a grueling, time-consuming process of tests to see if they can make the grade. 24/7 Tempo compiled a list of 30 skills aspiring astronauts need to master in order to become an astronaut, using several online sources including NASA and Astronaut.com.

The requirements to be a space traveler have changed dramatically since the first group of astronauts were selected in 1959, reflecting the effort of America’s space program to include women, people of color as well as including those with a diversity of experiences.

NASA selects astronauts from a diverse pool of applicants with various backgrounds. This is in contrast to its pioneering crew in 1959, the storied “Right Stuff” group that was the subject of the Tom Wolfe book and movie of the same name. Those trailblazers were all white American males, all with military experience. They would gain fame as astronauts on the Mercury and Apollo missions during the 1960s. Here are the biggest milestones in the space race.

Click here to see exactly what it takes to become an astronaut.