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Astronaut Selection Program



Active NASA Astronauts


NASA Astronauts selected since 1959

Astronaut Selection

More than 8,000 people applied to be an astronaut when NASA last accepted applications in 2024. From that pool, NASA will select between eight and 12 people to become astronaut candidates. They’ll go on to complete about two years of training before the candidates are eligible for a space flight.

To date, NASA has selected 360 astronaut candidates to fly on its increasingly challenging missions to explore space. More are needed to see the space station into its third decade of science in low-Earth orbit and propel exploration forward as part of the Artemis missions and beyond.

The first U.S. astronauts were selected in 1959, before human spaceflight operations began. NASA asked the military services to provide a list of personnel who met specific qualifications. After stringent screening, NASA announced its selection of seven men, all pilots, as the first American astronauts. NASA has selected 22 more groups of astronauts since the “Original Seven.” The backgrounds of NASA’s latest group of Astronaut Candidates include doctors, physicists, engineers, and a member of the Team USA Track Cycling Team.

NASA selects astronauts from a diverse pool of applicants with a wide variety of backgrounds. From the thousands of applications received, only a few are chosen for the intensive Astronaut Candidate training program.

How do I apply?

NASA is not currently collecting applications for astronauts. The previous application cycle closed on April 16, 2024.

View Application Procedures
Houston We Have a Podcast: Astronaut Episodes
jsc2020e000649 (Jan. 10, 2020) — The 2017 Class of Astronauts participate in graduation ceremonies at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. From left are, NASA astronaut Jonny Kim, Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut Joshua Kutryk, NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins, CSA astronaut Jennifer Sidey-Gibbon, NASA astronauts Kayla Barron, Jasmin Moghbeli, Loral O’Hara, Zena Cardman, Raja Chari, Matthew Dominick, Bob Hines and Warren Hoburg. This is the first class of astronauts to graduate under the Artemis program and are now eligible for assignments to the International Space Station, Artemis missions to the Moon, and ultimately, missions to Mars.

Guide to Becoming an Astronaut

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Become an Astronaut about Guide to Becoming an Astronaut
The first U.S. astronauts who will fly on American-made, commercial spacecraft to and from the ISS wave after announcement.

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Join the Artemis Generation

A KBR employee and a military test volunteer prepare for an altitude chamber flight that ensures the X-59 pilot’s safety at a variety of altitudes.

Active Military Applicants

The eleven Expedition 68 crew members aboard the International Space Station pose for a portrait. In the front row from left, are cosmonauts Anna Kikina, Sergey Prokopyev, and Dmitri Petelin. In the next row, are astronauts Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency) and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). In the back, are NASA astronauts Jessica Watkins, Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, Frank Rubio, Josh Cassada, and Nicole Mann. A symbolic key, representing the traditional change of command ceremony, that Cristoforetti earlier handed over to Prokopyev floats in the center of the frame as he begins his spaceflight as Expedition 68 Commander.

International Space Agency