It's time to spruce up those resumes, NASA has announced it's looking for talented individuals to apply to become part of its next generation of astronauts. If you are a U.S. citizen and have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science, or mathematics, you're eligible to get a spot on a spaceship.

Those interested can apply on USA Jobs. NASA will be accepting astronaut applications until February 18th.

So how can you improve your chances of getting selected?

“NASA is looking for people who are not just qualified in their field, but have a variety of skills and interests. A varied background will help your application stand out,” NASA astronaut Shannon Walker wrote in a recent Reddit AMA.

In addition to having a bachelor's degree in a STEM-related field, NASA will be looking at what they decided to do with that degree. “The diversity of experiences is what separates the highly qualified from qualified,” Manager for Astronaut Selection Anne Roemer and Walker wrote. “Experience that demonstrates good leadership, good followership, and good decision making.”

Also, having 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft helps.

A few months ago NASA said that this next generation of astronauts will be engaged in some exciting opportunities, including flights to the International Space Station and even deep-space missions in NASA's Orion craft.

“NASA’s mission, and what we need from the astronauts helping to carry it out, has evolved over the years,” said Brian Kelly, director of Flight Operations at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “Some people would be surprised to learn they might have what it takes. We want and need a diverse mix of individuals to ensure we have the best astronaut corps possible.”


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Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in Feature Writing, she snagged a job at PCMag.com where she had the opportunity to review all the latest consumer gadgets. Since then she has become a writer for hire, freelancing for various websites. In her spare time, you may find her riding her motorcycle, reading YA novels, hiking, or playing video games. Follow her on Twitter: @nat_schumaker

Photo Credit: ESA / Handout/ Getty