Pay and Remuneration
The following perks are for astronauts who work in NASA
LEVEL 1: Astronaut Trainee
EARNINGS $83,000 to $92,000 a year
LEVEL 2: Working Astronaut
EARNINGS $92,000 to $114,000 a year
LEVEL 3: Senior Astronaut
EARNINGS $114,000 to $163,000 a year
Neil Armstrong: the first human ever to set foot outside of Earth.
Kalpana Chawla: the first Indian woman in space.
More about NASA Astronaut
Once you've got your degree and some work experience, it's time to apply for those astronauts positions. Fill out a Standard Form 171 (government employment application) and send it to Astronaut Selection Office, NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX 77058.
The astronaut application will be reviewed and ranked by various criteria, including: height, experience and expertise. NASA receives an average of 4,015 applications to fill around 20 slots every 2 years.
Next, another screening process, and about 118 from the original 4,015 will be invited to Johnson Space Center for a week of interviews, medical exams and orientation. The ASB interviews each astronaut candidate and assigns them a rating based on: experience and potential, motivation, ability to function as a team member, communicative abilities, and adaptability. You can fail due to interpersonal skills.
If you are interested in a pilot/commander position, instead of mission specialist, you will also be required to log in at least 1,000 hours of flight time in command of a jet aircraft. During training all crew members train aboard a T-38 jet, in which the controls are identical to the Space Shuttle and therefore, can be used as a flight simulator either on the ground or in actual flight.
Many applicants do not meet medical standards while others withdraw after learning all that the job entails. After collecting significant information,the Astronaut Selection Board will choose its final candidates and pass that recommendation on the NASA Administrator who will make the final pick for employment.
Once selected, astronaut candidates begin a rigorous training program. Expect many long days, even after your training ends. Being an astronaut can be hard on family life.