Retired Lt. Col. Derek Green was an Air Force pilot and holds two graduate degrees. He applied to became an astronaut in 2003. Green had dreamed of being an astronaut since he was a child, and that was, in fact, the reason he joined the Air Force. But first he had to go through the grueling selection process in which he competed with many other qualified people for the few slots at NASA.
2. He began the process just the same as any other job — by filling out an application.
The initial application was pretty extensive, Green said, and involved gathering references, providing your qualifications, and all that other stuff you might expect from a job application. There are actually two applications, one through the military and a separate one for civilians. He filled out both to maximize his chances. His civilian application ended up making the initial cut.
3. His application made it through two extensive rounds of cuts.
First, NASA asked him follow-up questions based on his application. Then they sent him out on a physical to have a doctor certify that he did indeed meet the requirements set out on the application. After that, the excitement only built, he said, as he wondered if he would get “the call” to come in for an in-person meeting. He did get that call.
The process after that point involved intense scrutiny. Green underwent intelligence tests, psychological tests, physical tests, in-depth interviews, and more. Read about his experience at Buzzfeed.
(Image credit; Charlotte Gomez/BuzzFeed)