Students at Bailey consider steps to becoming an astronaut

Nicole S, Jaqueline R, Esther L, and Tristian G

Since space has been a popular topic of discussion in the news lately, students at Bailey consider what it takes to become an astronaut at NASA. How does one get from the Bailey classroom to outer space?

There are some things you could do in middle school to start getting ready to be an astronaut. Some of these things include participating in engineering or science fairs, make or join a school or community science, math, robotics, or engineering club, and to start exploring engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science, and/or mathematics classes to see which one you like the best. You should also consider applying for an internship at NASA or JPL (you could start as a freshman). 

According to Lyle Tavernier from NASA, ”You need a masters degree in stem or  two years of work toward  a Ph.D. program in a related technology, science, the math field, or engineering.”

You would also need a finished degree for doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathic medicine.  You would also have to pass the NASA long-duration spaceflight physical and need a compilation of a nationally recognized test pilot school program for the year that you want to start working/be an astronaut. You will need at minimum 1,000 hours of pilot in command time in a jet aircraft or two years of professional experience. 

We asked some of the teachers at Bailey why they think students would want to be an astronaut.  Mrs. Pucillo, a 7th grade science teacher for team 3, said, students may want “to challenge themselves to do something they never done and to discover new things about space.”  

We also asked Mrs. Pucillo how long she thinks astronauts have to train before going into space. She responded, “At least 2 years or more.” We then asked her what she would do if she went to space and what she would want to study. 

“I would be taking in the view of space and how Earth really looks and how the moon really works. I would hope to experience all I could in the ISS [International Space Station].”