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NASA to recruit astronauts for Mars trip preparation

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Source : pics-about.space

Washington : US space agency NASA said on Wednesday it will soon recruit new astronauts as part of its efforts to prepare for an eventual manned mission to Mars.

“This next group of American space explorers will inspire the Mars generation to reach for new heights, and help us realize the goal of putting boot prints on the Red Planet,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement, Xinhua reported.

NASA said these astronauts may fly on any of four different US vessels during their careers: the International Space Station, two commercial crew spacecraft currently in development by U.S. companies, and NASA’s Orion deep-space exploration vehicle that will take humans to Mars in the 2030s.

Those who want to apply must be US citizens “with a wide variety of backgrounds,” including pilots, engineers, scientists and medical doctors.

The requirements include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics.

Candidates also must have at least three years of related professional experience, or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft.

Additional requirements included the ability to pass the NASA long-duration spaceflight physical, which required would-be astronauts to have a height between 62 inches (1.57 meters) and 75 inches (1.90 meters).

The space agency said it will accept applications from December 14 through mid-February and expects to announce candidates selected in mid-2017.

To date, NASA has selected more than 300 astronauts to fly space missions. At the moment, there are 47 people in the active astronaut corps.

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NASA Partnering with 10 Start-ups to Develop New Technologies For Space

"Industry is developing new technologies rapidly, using new tools and methods in software development and other areas,"

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NASA researchers have created the atmosphere of a super-hot planet outside our solar system, here on Earth. Pixabay

NASA is inviting applications from start-ups to take part in a three-month pilot programme to develop new technologies for space.

Applications will be accepted till April 7 and a total of 10 companies will be selected for the programme, the US space agency said.

The accelerator programme will focus on technologies that can be applied to space — including geospatial analytics, digital design coupled to advanced manufacturing, autonomous systems, applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).

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NASA Administrator James Bridenstine delivers remarks as he tours the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. VOA

“We want to assist these companies in developing their own technologies and becoming commercial successes. NASA will also benefit by collaborating with these companies,” said Tom Cwik, Manager of the Space Technology Office at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

Based in Los Angeles, the accelerator programme begins on July 15. After developing their concepts and business plans over a three-month period, the teams will then pitch their results to the NASA community, co-sponsors and private investors at a demo day in October, NASA said.

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“Industry is developing new technologies rapidly, using new tools and methods in software development and other areas,” said Cwik.

“It’s incumbent upon us to learn from developments in industry and contribute our vast expertise in technology as we prepare to use them in our future missions,” Cwik added. (IANS)