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July 8, 1983

Want to be an astronaut? Here's an opportunity

JAMA. 1983;250(2):153. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340020009004

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The nation's smallest medical subspecialty group may get another member or two this year, although there's no guarantee.

This select group consists of the physician-astronauts who still are active in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) program. They presently constitute 10% (8/78) of the active astronaut corps.

Any physician who wants to become an astronaut can apply between Oct 1 and Dec 1 of this year. He or she will have to compete with eligible civilians who apply, however, and with military persons nominated by the various armed services. Competition is for six pilot and six mission specialist openings (to fly on the reusable space shuttle craft) that NASA anticipates for 1984.

Besides meeting the physical requirements, all candidates must have at least a bachelor's degree in engineering, mathematics, or the biological or physical sciences. Pilots must have at least 1,000 hours' flying time in high performance jets; for