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Bad news: NASA is facing an astronaut shortage. Good news: Maybe they’ll get desperate and give you a call

I’M HEEEEEERE! WAIT UP! I’VE ALREADY GOT A SUIT AND EVERYTHING!

This past December the White House directed the National Academies to review how many astronauts that NASA actually needed to conduct its operations in the post-shuttle era. New findings in a new report are showing that rather than the space agency having too many astronauts – it will have too few to meet mission objectives. The National Research Council (NRC) has released a report showing that NASA is entering into a period where low numbers of qualified astronauts will affect the agency’s ability to conduct human space flight operations.

Hey! Maybe that means even you, with the glasses and lack of college education and tendency to smoke too much weed… yes you could be an astronaut!

NASA once had a strong, stable astronaut corps but the agency has slowly but surely saw those numbers dwindle. In 1999 NASA had 150 astronauts today it has 61 – with more leaving the space agency every month. NASA needs to have a stable corps of space flyers for not only International Space Station operations but also to help develop the Orion Multi-Person Crew Vehicle (MPCV).

NASA is losing astronauts at approximately the rate of one every two months. If this exodus is allowed to continue the agency’s ability to conduct normal operations will be dramatically impaired. The NRC report highlights many of the nuances that space flight requires – most of which are missed when one considers space flight. Ground operations, emergency response, training and other elements that are involved with crewed space flight operations.

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