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(Credit: NASA)

If you ever dreamed of being an astronaut, now might be your chance. NASA is now accepting applications from astronaut hopefuls who want to fly future missions to the Moon and Mars.

The space agency needs more astronauts for its Artemis program, which is seeking to send both men and women to the Moon’s south pole by 2024. NASA then intends on setting up a lunar outpost by 2028 with the eventual goal of sending humans to Mars in the mid 2030s.

“We’re looking for talented men and women from diverse backgrounds and every walk of life to join us in this new era of human exploration that begins with the Artemis program to the Moon,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in today’s announcement.

To apply, you’ll have to be a US citizen with a master’s degree in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field from an accredited institution. NASA will also accept applicants who’ve spent at least two years working toward a PhD in a STEM field or have a Doctor of Medicine degree.

NASA is also hoping professional pilots apply. They’ll need to have completed a test pilot program at a nationally or internationally recognized school, and also have a bachelor’s degree or higher in a STEM field.

The final requirement is candidates must have at least two years of professional work experience, or at least 1,000 hours of “pilot-in-command time” in a jet aircraft.

The application window is open until the end of March 2020; apply via USAjobs.gov. NASA will select final astronaut candidates in mid-year 2021.

The last time NASA made the call for astronaut recruits was in late 2015, when a record-breaking 18,300 people applied. From that pool of candidates, NASA selected and trained 11 new astronauts, who graduated earlier this year. In total, the US space agency has 48 active astronauts. 

If you do make the cut, NASA says you’ll be flown to live and work on board the International Space Station to help you prepare for missions to the Moon and Mars.

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