Who is an Astronaut , How to Become an Astronaut - TheCareerHub
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Who is Astronaut?

An astronaut is a professional who is trained rigorously to command, pilot, conduct experiments on space stations, or operate as a crew member on a spacecraft. They are pilots that travel across the spacecraft to various space bodies along with their other crew members for exploration and research. There are various purposes for the astronauts to travel among which is the research and development, understanding the various aspects of the universe, astronomy, astrophysics, and beyond, working on new interpretations and research projects pertaining to which they also aim to bring new learnings and discoveries to the people regarding the space.

The career of an astronaut entails various missions going to the space. So, when they are on their respective missions, their responsibilities involve various aspects as ensuring that the purpose of the mission is served, trying to bring out new findings or growth in the already going on research projects, and that the spacecraft and the crew are safe. Astronauts do work travel into the space, work while in space along with the times when they are on the earth, and live there probably for a long time for various research purposes.

Although they spend a lot of time in the space, the primary aspect of their work is to research thoroughly while being on earth. They spend majority of their time working on the new discoveries, physical related aspects surrounding the knowledge of the space and its relationship with the earth, then, in preparing for their space missions - in classroom learning, and research labs, etc. They also tend to practice in simulation environments and exercising. The training and responsibilities of the astronaut differ with each mission.

Different positions of an astronaut include commander, pilot, flight engineer, payload commander, mission specialist, and science pilot. Some famous Indian Astronauts who made our country proud are Kalpana Chawla and Ravish Malhotra.

Typical day at work

What does Astronaut do?

An astronaut travels to an altitude of 50 miles or more for commercial, government, or scientific purposes. Many astronauts will work on the International Space Station with other astronauts from around the world. The main task of an astronaut on the space station is to perform scientific experiments and maintain the space station.

An Astronaut's tasks on a spacecraft shall vary according to their position, ranging from a commander leading the spacecraft to a pilot controlling the motion and position. However, typically, the roles and responsibilities of an Astronaut include the following:

  • To work alongside scientists on various research projects related to space and assist in developing the design of the project
  • To conduct tests and scientific experiments in a microgravity environment 
  • To notify and report any emergency situations including malfunction of equipment, potential hazards, medical emergencies as well as responding to such situations according to established protocol 
  • To communicate with the mission control towers for coordination in the process of takeoff, landing, docking etc
  • To work on the regular maintenance of the space station/ spacecraft by checking support systems, conducting repairs, cleaning filters when necessary
  • To transport, install, test new hardware  and systems for the space station as well as retrieve damaged systems for proper disposal
  • To coordinate operations with regards to the spacecraft in order to keep it functional and livable 
  • To maintain a thorough log of all the activities and eventualities related to the spacecraft
  • To exercise regularly for a stipulated amount of time in order to prevent muscle mass loss and to withstand the harsh conditions of their stay in space
Abilities & aptitude needed

What are the skills, abilities & aptitude needed to become Astronaut?

Astronauts need certain skill sets and strong professional abilities to be able to become an astronaut and represent science to the the entire world. To inculcate such abilities and skills, it is important for the professionals to get through the selection process for training, get their appropriate job posts and make themselves prepared enough to make space travel. The aspirants must have impeccable language and communication skills along with having good non-verbal skills as well. They should also have strong and sharp observation skills and mental endurance.

Psychological health and physical fitness are both crucial for this job. Therefore, keeping themselves mentally healthy, emotionally strong and physically fit is one of the mandatory requirements for these professionals. They should also have extensive knowledge of the relevant subjects, sharpening their scientific scrutiny. A satisfactory medical history, normal blood pressure, and perfect visual acuity are some of the other requirements needed to become an astronaut with ISRO.

An astronaut needs to be skilled at multitasking though having wonderful attention span, and to be able to do well in working with a team These professionals are supposed to be highly disciplined and committed to their role. An aspiring astronaut should have outstanding knowledge of mathematics, physics, experimental science, and engineering skills. They should also be able to work well under immense pressure, and even under uncertainties. All of these aspects would come handy if the individual is very resilient at heart, great in conducting themselves and focused enough to be unbothered about the other happening occurring at earth. This kind of mental endurance is required to function wonderfully and effectively as an astronaut.

Some of the other skills that are important to uphold the qualities of an astronaut are enough patience, endurance and through practice of both, the theoretical and practical skills of their professional field and subjects. This career makes an individual absolutely able and skilled at their work, however, they also demand the person that comes to become an astronaut to be already skilled at the basics or the raw understanding of the initial subjects in this field.


Which course I can pursue?

Best Colleges

Which are the best colleges to attend to become Astronaut?


Which industries are open for Astronaut?


  • Government Agency
  • Private Agencies
  • MNCs
  • Research & Development
  • Space Center
  • NASA
  • ISRO

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Are there internships available for Astronaut?

For an Astronaut, it's very important to have a hands-on experience. So, take this opportunity to work under a professional that gives you exposure to the industry. It will allow you to have practical learning about the field. After completion of the degree the aspirant must go for at least 3 years of related, progressively responsible, professional experience or at least 1,000 hours pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft Along with teaching experience, including experience at the K - 12 levels, is considered to be qualifying experience for the Astronaut Candidate position.

Career Outlook

What does the future look like for Astronaut?

A career as an Astronaut is a high paying and respected profession. It is a highly successful career that a lot of people aspire to become. Though, this career would also entail certain potential risks associated with the research based projects, living in the space shuttle, at times even moving out of the space shuttle in the open space, and in creating some certain research advancement and discovery in the bowl of uncertain space, this career is still highly in demand.

It is one career that a lot of children think of in their childhood or in their teenage years, but it entails immense efforts and being excellent at your work to get the honor from the Science field to go to the space as an astronaut. While travelling to space may seem like a routine, there is no denying that each trip can be a walk between success or disaster. However, this job allows one the unique opportunity to look upon the world from a great distance as well as witness cosmic phenomena from up close. This career remains one of the most exciting and inspiring jobs of all time. These courageous professionals are often former test pilots, engineers, or scientists and are among a selected few that pass the requirement. However, owing to the nature of the job, there is a lot of competition with regards to the selection for training and recruitment for jobs. Some common job profiles in this career are Commander astronaut, Pilot astronaut, Mission specialist, Payload specialist.

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