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girl in space suit
A special pen had to be invented for astronauts to be able to write while in space. This pen uses a rubber-like ink that also works well underwater.

Every two years, NASA must choose new members of the astronaut corps. Thousands of people from all over the world apply to become NASA astronauts, but only about twenty are chosen. In order to become an astronaut, a person must work well with people, be able to communicate well, be eager to do the job, have work experience, have good grades, and have a college degree. Most future astronauts take a lot of science and math. It is very hard, and sometimes very dangerous, to be an astronaut.

Once selected to join the astronaut corps, training begins at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Astronauts practice all of the jobs they will need to know during their space mission. They practice these jobs many, many times. Some astronauts learn to drive the Space Shuttle. Some are trained to perform jobs like science experiments or spacewalks.

An Astronaut's Space Suit

Star Dog icon (looking right)

A Question

What can you do to help yourself one day become a NASA astronaut?

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Did you know?
The Answer
Show me the Level 2 version of this page.

The StarChild site is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/ GSFC.

StarChild Authors: The StarChild Team
StarChild Graphics & Music: Acknowledgments
StarChild Project Leader: Dr. Laura A. Whitlock
Curator:Meredith Gibb
Responsible NASA Official: Phil Newman
If you have comments or questions about the StarChild site, please send them to us.