NASA is hiring its next class of astronauts

NASA is hiring its next class of astronauts

NASA wants to get to the South Pole of the moon by 2024 -- and it wants to send a woman there for the first time, along with another man.

So starting on March 2, the agency will be accepting applications for its next class of astronauts.

Since the 1960s, 350 people have trained as astronaut candidates under NASA, the agency said. Currently, there are 48 astronauts in the active astronaut corps, but NASA said it needs more of them to help further its exploration efforts.

NASA said the new astronauts could live and work aboard the International Space Station, and take part in experiments that prepare for more distant space exploration. Or they could launch on new spacecraft and dock at Gateway, the new spaceship that NASA is planning that will orbit the moon.

Those exploration efforts will hopefully help the agency prepare to send people to Mars in the mid-2030s, NASA said.

Candidates will also have to pass the NASA long-duration spaceflight physical and an online assessment.


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