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Time to dig out the CV: NASA 'naut applications now open

Got a PhD? Pilot licence? American? Apply within

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In October NASA announced it will recruit a new batch of astronauts - and today the application process opened. If you're an American citizen, preferably with a science PhD and a test pilot licence, you have until Friday, 27 January, 2012 to get your CV over.

NASA has nine to 15 positions available and its training centre is located in Houston, Texas. Selected candidates can expect $64,724 to $141,715 per year (£41k to £90k), and "frequent travel", as the job ad puts it.

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. Creativity. Ambition. Teamwork. A sense of daring. And a probing mind. That's what it takes to join NASA.

The new astronauts will train up for stints on the International Space Station (likely to come up about once on average per astronaut in the Station's remaining lifetime) but there might also be opportunities to get a place on future deep space missions if you're willing to wait at least into the 2020s.

NASA selected its first batch of astronauts from the military in 1959, now they are much more keen to get the boffins - and teachers - in. However, the agency is not interested in social science, "technology" or "aviation" graduates, a proper hard-science, maths or engineering grounding is required. Qualified candidates will need to undergo medical testing.

Apply from the USAJobs.gov site here. ®

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