NASA is wasting no time after yesterday’s 23rd astronaut class graduation ceremony. After congratulating the 10 newest people now eligible for flight assignments, the agency has opened the application portal for its next pool of potentially spacebound voyagers. And to celebrate the occasion, NASA enlisted the legend Morgan Freeman to narrate its announcement video.

International Space Station photo

A total of 360 candidates have now taken part in the demanding, two-year training school since 1959, but only three did not finish the program. Currently, just 48 Astronaut Office members are currently active. NASA picked its latest 10 graduates from over 12,000 applicants, who are now also qualified for future assignments aboard the International Space Station, Artemis program missions, and even future commercial space station projects. As notes, however, their current newbie status will more likely place them in technical roles supporting flights, such as serving as Mission Control capsule communicators (capcoms), as well as overseeing rocket and spacecraft preparations. Before long, however, they could find themselves in line to board those very same vehicles for missions to the ISS or the moon, based on their backgrounds and career experience.

“Picture yourself in space, contributing to a new chapter of human exploration as a NASA astronaut,” Freeman says during the one-minute spot—okay, easy to do, but what about the reality of what’s required to apply?

The astronaut application checklist

According to NASA’s current astronaut candidate application page, you need at least a master’s degree or international equivalent in a STEM-related field such as “engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science, or mathematics.” A minimum of two years currently enrolled in a PhD or similar program can also qualify you, as well as advanced medical degrees. Currently, participation in a stateside or international Test Pilot School program is fair game, too. Either two years of related STEM professional experience or a minimum of 1,000 hours pilot-in-time spent on jet aircrafts are also needed. There aren’t any age restrictions, but every astronaut candidate has so far been somewhere between 26 and 46-years-old, with a median age of 34. 

[Related: How to apply for NASA’s next Mars habitat simulation.]

Unsurprisingly, there’s also a lengthy list of physical assessments and medical requirements, including preliminary and random drug testing for illegal substances, psychiatric evaluations, swimming tests, and the Agency Physical Fitness Test. One’s sitting blood pressure can’t exceed 140/90 and you need 20/20 vision, although LASIK surgery or eyeglasses is fine these days. On the shorter or taller side? Sorry—the height window is only 65-to-75-inches in order to fit into NASA’s (increasingly trendy) spacesuits.

If all those hurdles sound relatively feasible to clear, feel free to head over to the USAJOBS page to fire off an application by April 6. That said, if you’re looking to start a bit closer to Earth, there’s always NASA’s Mars habitat simulation project to consider.