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NASA trolls web for wannabe astronauts

Position requires 'extensive travel'

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In its search for new astronauts, NASA has turned to the web.

For the first time in almost thirty years, the cash-strapped, Google-loving bureaucrats are looking for men and women to ride into space on a U.S. craft other than the Shuttle - so they've posted a notice to Usajobs.com, "your one-stop source for federal jobs and employment information".

If you'd like to apply, simply visit the site and search on "astronaut".

"NASA, the world's leader in space and aeronautics is always seeking outstanding scientists, engineers, and other talented professionals to carry forward the great discovery process that its mission demands," reads the job summary. "Creativity. Ambition. Teamwork. A sense of daring. And a probing mind. That's what it takes to join NASA, one of the best places to work in the Federal Government."

But that's not all it takes. Applicants must also prove U.S. citizenship and submit to a drug test - which could rule out a majority of El Reg staff members, readers, and their immediate families.

The upside is that the job has a promotion potential of "15", and NASA offers "excellent benefit programs and competitive salaries". Can you say "$59,493 to $130,257 a year"? Ten to fifteen positions need filling.

The chosen few will join NASA's International Space Station (ISS) Program, which should prove to be an exciting work environment. "Astronauts are involved in all aspects of assembly and on-orbit operations of the ISS," Usajobs continues. "This includes extravehicular activities (EVA), robotics operations using the remote manipulator system, experiment operations, and onboard maintenance tasks."

But don't expect a walk in the park. The position calls for hard work and "extensive travel". The site continues: "Long-duration missions aboard the ISS generally last from 3 to 6 months. Training for long duration missions is very arduous and takes approximately 2 to 3 years. This training requires extensive travel, including long periods away in other countries training with our international partners."

Ar first, a NASA spokeswoman told us, astronaut recruits will visit the space station on Russian Soyez capsules, but NASA's brand new Orion moonship is due by 2015. Talk about a job perk.

Some new recruits could actually set foot on the moon. NASA plans to return mankind to the lunar surface by 2020, and if you stick it out that long, you'll have a mighty fine pension.

Other perks could include drunken space flight, kidnapping, and pamper-wearing. ®

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