As NASA begins to narrow the field of candidates for the newest astronaut class, we explored the astronaut selection and training process in Space Center Houston’s May Thought Leader Series, presented by UTMB. Hear about the process from Kjell Lindgren, NASA astronaut; Anne Roemer, NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) astronaut selection manager; and Todd May, KBR senior vice president of government solutions U.S.
Houston is the home of astronaut training. JSC has served as a hub of human spaceflight activity for more than half a century. It is home to the nation’s astronaut corps, the International Space Station mission operations, the Orion Program, and a host of future space developments.
At JSC, potential astronaut candidates undergo one of the world’s most competitive selection processes. Selected candidates then complete approximately two years of intensive training before beginning specialized mission training. Only then do astronaut candidates become eligible for a flight assignment.
During their classroom “boot camp,” candidates are schooled in space station systems along with a variety of other disciplines, including Earth sciences, meteorology, space science and engineering. They also train in land and water survival, aircraft operations and scuba diving.
Once the candidate training period is complete, new astronauts are given their mission assignment and grouped with experienced astronauts to continue training.