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What You Need to Know if You Dream of Being an Astronaut

People all over the world dream of going somewhere among the stars, to rocket off into the endless expanse of space. But of those people with such sky-high dreams, few ever accomplish this impressive undertaking. This is because much more is required of astronauts than most of the population can achieve. For those whose dreams will not be deterred, it’s imperative that they understand what is necessary to do and know as they set their sights on the future.

Qualifications Needed to Become an Astronaut

A Bachelor’s Degree

Though many astronauts and astronaut candidates have advanced degrees, a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field is all that is required for civilian or military candidates to pursue astronaut training. Though advanced degrees aren’t absolutely a must, NASA does prefer candidates with a Master’s or PhD in a STEM field of study.

Perfect Eyesight

20/20 vision is a requirement of astronauts. You can either be born with naturally perfect vision or have your eyesight corrected to 20/20 vision without glasses or contacts.

Physical Fitness

You don’t have to be a person who lives at the gym to be a qualified candidate, but it is imperative that astronaut candidates be in reasonably good health with no chronic or debilitating conditions and good blood pressure.


To qualify with NASA as a prospective astronaut, candidates have to stand at 158 (5.1 feet) to 190 (6.2 feet) centimeters tall. The requirements for being and functioning optimally on a craft include matters that require a certain height to achieve.


Being away from friends and family is tough, even tougher when you’re in space and your mission is nearly a year long. You have to be able to cope with being away from the people and the life that you have on Earth for anywhere from weeks to months, or even most of a full calendar year. This isn’t easy for a lot of people and could seriously impact your mental health if you are not well-equipped for this kind of separation from loved ones.

These are the bare-bones minimum requirements for being considered by NASA for space exploration of any kind. Certain roles on a space craft might require different standards than the ones listed here, but to be considered in the first place means checking “yes” to all of the astronaut traits above.