Vote for the Best of the Bay Awards 2019! Go Vote Now

NASA to Hire More Astronauts

February 13th, 2020

NASA is hiring new astronauts to explore the Moon and Mars! If you have what it takes to be an Artemis Generation astronaut, apply online March 2-31.
Photo by NASA

As NASA prepares to launch American astronauts this year on American rockets from American soil to the International Space Station – with an eye toward the Moon and Mars – the agency is announcing it will accept applications March 2 to 31 for the next class of Artemis Generation astronauts.

Since the 1960s, NASA has selected 350 people to train as astronaut candidates for its increasingly challenging missions to explore space. With 48 astronauts in the active astronaut corps, more will be needed to crew spacecraft bound for multiple destinations and propel exploration forward as part of Artemis missions and beyond.

We’re celebrating our 20th year of continuous presence aboard the International Space Station in low-Earth orbit this year, and we’re on the verge of sending the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “For the handful of highly talented women and men we will hire to join our diverse astronaut corps, it’s an incredible time in human spaceflight to be an astronaut. We’re asking all eligible Americans if they have what it to takes to apply beginning March 2.”

The basic requirements to apply include United States citizenship and a master’s degree in a STEM field, including engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science, or mathematics, from an accredited institution. The requirement for the master’s degree can also be met by:

  • Two years (36 semester hours or 54 quarter hours) of work toward a Ph.D. program in a related science, technology, engineering or math field;
  • A completed doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathic medicine degree;
  • Completion (or current enrollment that will result in completion by June 2021) of a nationally recognized test pilot school program.

Candidates also must have at least two years of related, progressively responsible professional experience, or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft. Astronaut candidates must pass the NASA long-duration spaceflight physical.

Americans may apply to #BeAnAstronaut at: www.usajobs.gov

As part of the application process, applicants will, for the first time, be required to take an online assessment that will require up to two hours to complete.

After completing training, the new astronauts could launch on American rockets and spacecraft developed for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to live and work aboard the International Space Station, 250 miles above Earth, where they will take part in experiments that benefit life at home and prepare us for more distant exploration.

They may also launch on NASA’s powerful new Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft, docking the spacecraft at the Gateway in lunar orbit before taking a new human landing system to the Moon’s surface. After returning humans to the Moon in 2024, NASA plans to establish sustainable lunar exploration by 2028. Gaining new experiences on and around the Moon will prepare NASA to send the first humans to Mars in the mid-2030s.

NASA expects to select the new class of astronaut candidates in mid-2021 to begin training as the next class of Artemis Generation astronauts.

For more information about a career as a NASA astronaut, and application requirements, visit: NASA Astronauts Homepage

Schools open doors to variety of careers for today’s students

April 1st, 2017

On the road to a career in Pharmacy.

By Mary Alys Cherry

Little do today’s high school students realize just how lucky they are as they begin planning their future.

Whereas their parents and grandparents had to work a number of jobs before they stumbled on to their dream – and many never did — today’s students can begin sampling various fields while just a high school freshman.

Clear Creek ISD, for example, offers students 14 different pathways, with each combining academic courses with career-related classes – helping students understand the relationship between education and careers so they can make informed decisions on what courses they need to learn its various aspects, what type of work they can expect and what education is necessary.

Its Career and Technical Education program reinforces state and national academic standards by providing students training in career areas of interest to them.

They can take a look at being a chef, an electrician, a dentist or dental assistant, automobile technician, actor, graphic designer, interior decorator, computer programmer, nurse, an air conditioning technician, cosmotologist or architect and more, and then follow their dream at one of the nearby colleges such as San Jacinto College, College of the Mainland, Alvin Community College or at the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Some of the other subjects are veterinary medical applications, communications, livestock production, food technology, wildlife fisheries and ecology management, audio/video production, animation, construction technology, civil engineering and video game design.

Learning about Broadcasting.

In fact, Clear Creek ISD is building a career technology wing at Clear Creek High School which will provide students with an opportunity to explore careers such as the dentistry profession and prepare them to become registered dental assistants.

It’s almost mind boggling how many career paths are available for today’s students, who can even graduate from high school and earn a college associate degree at the same time through the Early College High School at both CCISD and Pasadena ISD.

Think about that. Students can earn a high school diploma and complete two years of college while in high school, saving two years of college costs for their parents – thousands of dollars.

However, many students do not want a four-year degree. They may want to be an auto mechanic, a truck driver or hair dresser and hope to find one with a minimum of training.

Years ago if a young man wanted to be an electrician, a mechanic or air conditioning technician, he had to find someone who would take him in and see him through several years of training before he could be certified. Today he can learn most of the essentials in a community college classroom before becoming a trainee.

In addition to the multitude of programs leading to degrees colleges have offered for generations such as education, engineering, history, math, journalism, business, physics, accounting and languages, local community colleges offer a variety of additional associate degree programs that can put the student on a path to success. Some can be completed in less time than degree programs.

And, employers are pleased as they want employees with the right education and certifications as these employees will most likely have the proper training and safety knowledge, are open to change and have up-to-date credentials.

San Jacinto College, for example, offers certificate programs in paralegal, welding, maritime technology, auto repair, interior design, process technology, culinary arts, environmental safety technology, cosmetology, medical billing, multimedia computer animation, eye care technology, criminal justice, diesel technology and many more. Some are longer than others.

A student in a course on trucking, for example, spends two hours of his daily classroom study learning federal laws, securing loads, etc., and the rest of the day driving different vehicles in varying road conditions. That can be completed in six weeks with entry-level drivers earning $35,000 to $45,000 the first year.

College of the Mainland also helps prepare students with courses in photography, air conditioning technology, nursing, mechanical maintenance technology, art, welding, electrician helper, process technology, construction, project management and design, to name a few of the hands-on ways the school is helping bring the students and the job market together.

Alvin Community College also offers a wide variety of courses, along with a number for the student who is not interested in a four-year degree, including culinary arts management, helicopter pilot training, nursing assistant, pipefitting, machinist, computer training, radio/TV, crime scene technician, real estate (online), pharmacy technology, court reporting, veterinary assistant, emergency medical technology, electronic diagnostics and criminal justice.

San Jac Vice Chancellor Allatia Harris said area businesses are proponents of short-term workforce programs as they need employees immediately and those who can contribute on their first day on the job.

“The construction sector and the health care industry need workers right now,” she added.