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Help Wanted: Astronauts

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Think you have the right stuff? Here's your chance to give it a try. NASA is recruiting its next class of astronauts, for 2009. The agency says it is looking for "a few men and women who want to fulfill their dreams and be a part of the next generation of explorers." Candidates must be willing to travel extensively on Earth and in space, NASA says: "Possible destinations may include, but are not limited to, Texas, Florida, California, Russia, Kazakhstan, the International Space Station and the moon." But it's not all fun and adventure. When not exploring the final frontier, astronauts are assigned duties such as scientific research, mission control communication with on-orbit crews, robotic training, spacewalk training, aircraft operations, technical design and engineering, and wilderness training. If you want to give it a go, NASA says you must meet physical standards and educational requirements, which include a bachelorís degree in engineering, math or science and at least three years of experience in one of these fields. Teaching experience, including experience at the K-12 level, is also considered to be qualifying experience; therefore, educators are encouraged to apply. Candidates will undergo two years of training and evaluation at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, before NASA decides if they make the cut as astronauts.

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