Astronauts- work as part of a crew and therefore have specific responsibilities aboard the spacecraft. ... Not only are astronauts responsible for fulfilling the terms, or purpose, of their mission, but they are also responsible for ensuring safety of the spacecraft and the crew. Lots of kids dream of being an astronaut but may not realize how intense the program is or what the actual responsibilities are. An astronaut boards a spacecraft to fly on missions for very specific purposes. Astronauts work as part of a crew and therefore have specific responsibilities aboard the spacecraft.

Astronauts go through very specialized and intense training to prepare for these space missions. They must pass certain physical requirements as well as comprehensive academic and mental exams. Astronauts fly to various destinations to conduct research and experiments. These missions may vary and therefore the actual focus and responsibilities of the astronaut will change with each mission.

 

There are various roles that an astronaut may serve as as a part of the spacecraft’s crew, ranging from a mission specialist to a commander. The more experience and background that an astronaut has, the more responsibilities that astronaut may have. Not only are astronauts responsible for fulfilling the terms, or purpose, of their mission, but they are also responsible for ensuring safety of the spacecraft and the crew. They help each member of their crew to maintain normal functions and to stay safe to work through the missions. Astronauts often will observe the environment they fly to, taking something from there or bringing something back there.

Astronauts must go through training for each mission that they serve on. They must ensure that they maintain appropriate physical shape, as that comes into play for successfully flying on the spacecraft and carrying out the missions.

 

Training/Educational Requirements

Though the minimum educational requirement for an astronaut is a bachelor’s degree, there is usually a more specific focus preferred than that. Though it is not necessarily always spelled out, it is preferred if an astronaut has a bachelor’s degree in a space-related focus, such as math, biology or some other form of science, engineering, or even psychology. Many astronauts have advanced degrees.

The training program is the most intense part of the requirement for astronauts. Astronauts must be in excellent physical shape, and this may be a focus of their training program. They must pass physical exams to be selected for a mission. Astronauts must follow a very stringent training program as set forth by NASA that involves comprehension exams, physical exams, and tests knowledge and abilities in a variety of different areas. Passing these exams and the overall training program is an extremely important measure to meet. Astronauts will be trained in simulation exercises so that they can get the feel of being in space, and so that they are prepared for the work that lies ahead of them. Initial and ongoing training is an extremely important part of the job as an astronaut.

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