Here's what it takes to be an astronaut

It takes a huge amount of preparation and training to secure a room aboard theInternational Space Station, but NASA’s basic requirements for being an astronaut candidate may surprise you.

If you don’t want to be a commander or a pilot, all you need is a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field plus three years of professional experience, according to NASA.

If you meet those requirements, NASA is wants your application for its astronaut corps starting on December 14.

Of course, the process of actually being selected gets… intense. Between 4,000 and 8,000 people apply each round, but NASA usually only picks eight.

Keep scrolling to find out what it takes to become a NASA astronaut.

While NASA doesn't require anything beyond a bachelor's degree, more advanced degrees are helpful. No job? No problem: A graduate degree can supersede the 3-year experience requirement.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Pilots and commanders need at least a bachelor's degree, but an advanced degree is more desirable. You also need to have logged at least 1,000 pilot hours in a jet aircraft.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlxkCbbTeVQ

Sounds pretty easy so far! But then the requirements get harder to meet -- and they include qualities that you can't easily fix.

You must have 20/20 vision or at least vision that's correctable with a prescription to 20/20 in both eyes.

NASA
Astronaut Karen Nyberg takes an image of her eye on the ISS.

Then you have to pass a rigorous physical and psychological evaluation administered by NASA.

And then of course you have to survive the training. Lots and lots of training.

Training includes more studying, military water survival drills, and rides aboard NASA's famous Vomit Comet -- a reduced gravity aircraft.

If you make it through training and become a fully fledged astronaut, it can take years before you're selected for spaceflight.

Selection isn't guaranteed, however. And if you are picked, guess what?

NASA/MSFC
Astronaut Sunita Williams exercises on board the ISS.

You have another couple years of training ahead of you before leaving Earth.

NASA
Astronaut Sunita Williams exercises on board the ISS.

Spaceflight is incredibly risky and expensive, so it's no wonder space agencies are so strict: They want to make good on their investment, if that happens to be you.

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