3 Factors of Becoming an Astronaut | #AskAbby Homeschool Edition | The Mars Generation | Season 3 | Episode 5

Season 3, Episode 5, #AskAbby Space and Science Show: Homeschool Edition

Presented by TheMarsGeneration.org

Becoming an Astronaut

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In episode 5 of the #AskAbby Space and Science Show: Homeschool Edition, Abby encourages all her fellow aspiring astronauts to dream big and set a game plan! From working hard in school to focusing on science to developing habits to stay physically fit, Abby will explain how all of these things will help you become an astronaut (as well as achieve other benefits!). She’ll also discuss how to be a NASA astronaut from another country – just like Kalpana Chawla, the first Indian-American astronaut and first female astronaut of Indian descent!

In this episode, Abby answers questions posed by Nisa, a 9th grade student at Mary Immaculate Girls High School in India including: Is sports very important to go to space? How do I become an Astronaut? Is it necessary to be a pilot to be an astronaut?

Transcription of 3 Factors of Becoming an Astronaut

Hi everyone and welcome to #AskAbby: Homeschool Edition!

This is a new series of AskAbby to provide resources–as well as our ever-so-necessary bad space puns and jokes–to students who are now doing distance learning during the COVID -19 Pandemic!

Each episode will feature questions submitted by students from around the world.

This episode is focused on becoming an astronaut, with questions submitted by Nisa, a 9th grader at the Mary Immaculate Girls High School in India.


First question: How do I become an astronaut?

I get this question a lot. So luckily, I’ve already made a full-length video about it. You can go ahead and watch that video, which is linked down below, to get more information and the steps required. 

Spoiler alert: the answer is lots of school. You’ll need a STEM degree, either a Master’s or a PhD, and you’ll probably have to do scientific research that’s related in some way to space exploration as well.

You also have to be really physically healthy. And then you have to apply to your country’s space program once you’re old enough. But don’t worry, if your country doesn’t have a space program, you can apply to NASA, because NASA accepts naturalized U.S. citizens.

Question two: Are sports very important to go to space?

I’d say studying is the most important part of becoming an astronaut, but staying healthy is also important, and sports are a really great, fun way to do that!

Space is really difficult on the human body, and this means that you need to be in tip top physical shape before you go to space. Astronauts generally spend about 2-3 hours a day, 6 days a week, exercising when they’re in space. They do this to fight back against the negative effects that microgravity has on the human body. So, partaking in sports right now can help you both to have a healthy, fit body, and to build up those good, positive exercise habits. I’d say that’ll help you on your way to becoming an astronaut.

Personally I like to dance, hike, climb mountains, play rugby, play soccer, even ride unicycles, to stay physically active and make sure that I’m getting some kind of physical activity every single day.

Now you tell me, how do you stay physically active?

Additionally, sports teach you how to work well with others on a team, which is a really good skill for astronauts to have. No, it’s not just really good. It’s essential.

Question three: Is it necessary to be a pilot to be an astronaut?

No, it isn’t necessary, but it is pretty helpful, and lots of astronauts have experience as pilots.

I’m actually the proud owner of a pilot’s license myself! And if you’re interested in getting your pilot’s license, I’ve made a full-length #AskAbby video about the experience, so you can go ahead and watch it at the link down below.

Today we talked about how to become an astronaut, including how education, physical fitness, and becoming a pilot might even play a part.

What I hope you take away is that if you have the dream to become an astronaut, you can work towards that dream right now and right where just by doing your homework or maybe even kicking around a soccer ball.

Thanks for watching! If you’d like to submit a question, you can do so by Tweeting me with the #AskAbby, or by submitting it to The Mars Generation website which is linked below.

And until next time, keep safe, keep healthy, and keep learning! So long fellow travelers of spaceship Earth!

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