Thousands of people have applied for just 14 open spots.
NASA has gotten absolutely buried with applications for the agency’s 14 open positions, easily setting a new record.
A total of 18,300 people submitted resumes for 14 open astronaut positions between December 15 and February 18, according to an Engadget report.
The previous record was 8,000 people in 1978, and the new number is almost three times the number of people who applied in the last hiring round in 2012. Clearly, NASA’s bold vision for future manned missions to as far away as Mars is resonating with people.
Part of it is due to the long stretch of time since NASA hired astronauts last, but much of it is probably the recent successes in space — flying past Pluto and Ceres, landing on a meteor, and other accomplishments — as well as the success of films like Interstellar, The Martian,a nd Gravity.
NASA plans to award the astronaut job to between eight and 14 of the 18,3000 applicants. NASA’s Selection Board will review the hopefuls and interview a handful of them over the next year and a half, announcing the new astronauts by 2017, after which they will start a rigorous two-year training regimen.