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I am 13 years old and want to become an astronaut. What things can I do now that will help me with my goal in the future?
I already am in honors classes and make strait A's (and high B's).

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Asked by jeterfan1 Sunday Aug 28th 2011 in Career Planning
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What a good question. Now, before I answer it I am going to have to preface this answer by saying that currently there is no longer a shuttle program at NASA, which mean there are very few Americans going into space. Currently, our Space Program is dependent on the Russian Space program. However, this may not be for forever, but it might be a while before the U.S.A starts sending astronaut in to space on our own space crafts. Now with that said, here is a quick summation of what is required to become a U.S. astronaut:

* U.S. citizenship (for pilots and mission specialists)

* Bachelor's degree (engineering, biological sciences, physical sciences, mathematics) from an accredited college or university

* Three years of related experience after obtaining the bachelor's degree - A master's degree equals one year of experience, and a doctorate equals three years.

* Passing a NASA space physical examination - Pilots need to pass a Class I physical; mission/payload specialists must pass Class II. Both are similar to civilian and military flight examinations.

* More than 1,000 hours experience as pilot-in-command of a jet aircraft (pilots only)

* Height of 64 to 76 inches (162.5 cm to 193 cm) for pilots, 58.5 to 76 inches (148.5 cm to 193 cm) for mission/payload specialists

In regards to what you need to do to prepare right now, it seems like you are on the right track with the honors classes and good grades. What I would do if I were you would be to talk to your guidance counselor, and talk with them about what you need to do to stay on the right track. They will have a better idea about what classes you need to take as well as what you need to do to accomplish the above requirements.

Good Luck!

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