Special Report

30 Special Skills You Need to Become an Astronaut

Source: shaun / Getty Images

16. Passing physical and psychological exams

Potential astronauts can’t have medical conditions that would impede their ability to perform tasks in space. NASA puts candidates through a battery of physical and psychological tests, checking blood pressure, eyesight, and other things.

Source: NASA / Expedition 20 crew

17. Working with astronauts from other countries

Exploration of the universe has come a long way from the days when the Space Race was a proxy for the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. The two nations cooperated in the Apollo-Soyuz projects and the space shuttle-Mir programs. Now, many nations are involved in the International Space Station, requiring a spirit of cooperation and understanding among space travelers from various countries.

Source: Hispanolistic / Getty Images

18. Building core strength

Astronauts are required to build upper body strength in order to be able to stay seated upright and be able to move about and endure microgravity in space. During space walks, they need to have the ability to move without constriction as they lift objects to perform work. They also need strong core muscles; riding in extraterrestrial vehicles is physically demanding. In zero gravity, muscles and bones aren’t needed to support the body, and bones can atrophy without an exercise regimen, so astronauts on the ISS work out to keep muscles strong and bones healthy.

Source: FatCamera / Getty Images

19. Being able to handle time away from loved ones

Rockers David Bowie and Elton John both sang about the solitude of astronauts in space with their songs “Space Oddity” and “Rocket Man,” respectively. Recognizing the toll that loneliness might exact on astronauts, space agencies are using studies of life at Antarctic bases to examine ways of keeping astronauts sane. They are also looking at how crews are selected for missions as well, to insure compatibility.

Source: NASA

20. Having maintenance and repair skills

Maintenance and repair skills are crucial for astronauts, particularly those who will be working at the International Space Station. Companies such as DynCorp International train astronauts to perform mechanical, hydraulic, and electrical repair work on aircraft before they begin missions on the space station.

Sponsored: Tips for Investing

A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.