Have you ever wondered how much NASA pays its astronauts who risk their lives to explore space? If you are interested in becoming an astronaut or just curious about their salaries, this article will give you some insights into their earning career and how much they make permission.
What is an astronaut?
An astronaut is an extensively trained individual who commands, pilots, or serves as a crew member of a spacecraft. Their primary responsibilities are to travel into space, participate in activities related to space exploration, and conduct scientific experiments. While on Earth, they undergo rigorous tailored training programs related to either their civilian or military status. It’s also common for astronauts to appear in public at scheduled media events. Their responsibilities during missions may also include ensuring the crew’s medical health and physical safety, equipment upkeep, or coordinating zero gravity physical training sessions. Some astronauts also provide regular maintenance and repairs to satellites and the space station. An astronaut’s specialization typically depends on their education and professional background, but all tasks and duties are equally important.
How much does NASA pay its astronauts?
A NASA astronaut’s salary is based on education and experience level. They bring home good pay, but you may be surprised to learn that, due to such high demand for such few positions, astronauts are not paid as much as professional athletes or movie stars.
There are two types of astronauts: civilian and military. Civilian astronauts are employed by NASA and their pay grades are set by federal government pay scales and vary based on academic achievements and experience. According to NASA, civilian astronaut salaries range from $104,898 to $161,141 per year. Civilian astronauts also enjoy benefits such as health care, travel, paid holidays, challenging and interesting work, state-of-the-art training facilities and paid leave.
Military astronauts are designated to the Johnson Space Center in Houston and their pay depends on their active duty status for pay, leave, benefits, and other military matters. Military astronaut candidates typically are commissioned officers with a minimum of five years of active duty service. The monthly military pay scales are represented in these tables. Military astronaut benefits include those above as well as monthly housing allowances and aviation career incentive pay.
How much does an astronaut make permission?
The amount of money an astronaut makes per mission depends on several factors, such as the duration of the mission, the type of spacecraft they fly in, and the destination they visit. For example, a mission to the International Space Station (ISS) may last up to six months and require flying in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft or a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. A mission to the Moon may last up to a week and require flying in a NASA Orion spacecraft or a SpaceX Starship spacecraft. A mission to Mars may last up to two years and require flying in a NASA Deep Space Transport spacecraft or a SpaceX Starship spacecraft.
According to some estimates, an astronaut may earn between $12,000 and $90,000 per mission depending on these factors. However, these figures are not official and may vary depending on the specific contract terms between NASA and its partners.
Becoming an astronaut is not easy. Applicants must be US citizens, have an accredited college degree in science, engineering, or mathematics, and have three years of professional experience or 1,000 hours piloting a jet aircraft under their belts. They also need to come equipped with specialized skills and ways of thinking that interviewers — usually astronauts themselves — screen for. They also have to pass a grueling selection process that is about 74 times harder than getting into Harvard University. NASA selects a new astronaut class once every couple of years and picked only 12 of 18,300 applicants in 2017.
However, being an astronaut is also rewarding. Astronauts get to experience the thrill of spaceflight, witness the beauty of Earth from orbit, conduct groundbreaking research that benefits humanity and inspire future generations of explorers. Astronauts also earn decent salaries that reflect their education and experience level as well as their civilian or military status. Astronauts may also receive additional income depending on the type and duration of their missions.
If you are interested in becoming an astronaut or learning more about their careers, you can visit NASA’s website for more information.
Most asked questions and answers
Here are some of the most asked questions about astronauts and their answers:
Q: How many astronauts are there?
A: As of April 2021, there are 566 people who have flown in space as astronauts. Of these, 339 are from the US, 124 are from Russia, 11 are from China and the rest are from other countries.
Q: How do astronauts train for space?
A: Astronauts train for space in various ways, such as simulating the environment and tasks of spaceflight, learning the systems and operations of the spacecraft, practicing emergency procedures, undergoing physical and psychological tests, studying the science and culture of their destination and learning how to work as a team.
Q: What do astronauts eat in space?
A: Astronauts eat a variety of foods in space, such as freeze-dried, thermostabilized, rehydratable and fresh foods. They also have access to beverages, condiments and snacks. Astronauts can choose their own menus before their missions and sometimes receive special treats from Earth.
Q: How do astronauts sleep in space?
A: Astronauts sleep in space in sleeping bags that are attached to the walls or ceilings of their spacecraft or station. They can also use eye masks, ear plugs and pillows to make themselves comfortable. Astronauts usually sleep for about eight hours per day.
Q: How do astronauts go to the bathroom in space?
A: Astronauts go to the bathroom in space using specially designed toilets that use suction and airflow to collect and store their waste. They also use wet wipes, towels and soap to clean themselves.
Q: How do astronauts communicate in space?
A: Astronauts communicate in space using radio, video and audio systems that link them to their crewmates, ground control and their families. They also use email, social media and phone calls to stay in touch.
Q: How do astronauts exercise in space?
A: Astronauts exercise in space using various equipment, such as treadmills, bikes, resistance bands and weights. They also perform stretching and yoga routines. Astronauts exercise for about two hours per day to maintain their health and fitness.
Q: How do astronauts deal with gravity in space?
A: Astronauts deal with gravity in space by adapting to the microgravity or weightlessness environment. They use straps, Velcro and magnets to secure themselves and their items. They also learn how to move and work efficiently without gravity.
Q: How do astronauts return to Earth from space?
A: Astronauts return to Earth from space using a reentry vehicle that separates from their spacecraft or station. The reentry vehicle then enters the atmosphere, slows down using a heat shield and parachutes and lands on land or water.
Q: What are the risks and challenges of being an astronaut?
A: Being an astronaut involves many risks and challenges, such as launch and landing accidents, exposure to radiation, bone and muscle loss, vision problems, psychological stress, isolation, fatigue, injury, illness and death.