An astronaut is a crew member of a vehicle launched into space.
Not to be confused with “astronomer” who studies the stars from Earth.
An astronaut’s job is hard to define and there are no schools that teach you how to fly in space.
So, can anyone become an astronaut?
In 60 years, only 500 astronauts have been into space, including 50 women!
Few are chosen and the selection process is tough!
You need to be a scientist at the top of your specialty: physics, chemistry, math or biology… ideally aged between 27 and 37, even if candidates up to 50 are eligible, and speak English fluently.
Astronauts need to be fit and healthy and mentally able to cope with danger and stress.
When they are chosen by a space agency, they undergo several years of intense space flight training.
Once in space, they carry out scientific experiments to further research.
The most famous astronauts are the Russian, Yuri Gagarin, the first human to fly in space and the American, Neil Armstrong, the first to walk on the moon.
There’s also Thomas Pesquet, the French astronaut. In 2 trips, he will have spent nearly a year in the International Space Station!