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NASA Begins Staffing for New Moon Mission

Credit: AFP via Getty Images

Never a bad time to go into orbit.

We went to the moon in 1969, and I’ll always remember that thanks to that one episode of Even Stevens. Since the end of that mission in 1972, though, no one else has set foot on the moon. There have been plenty of drones and rovers, but no second step for mankind. Everyone’s getting kind of tired of that, especially NASA, who have decided it’s finally time for another go.

NASA has begun a recruitment process for new astronauts to staff the first manned mission to our favorite space rock in 48 years. This mission, which is projected to take place some time in 2024, is targeting the moon’s southern pole, a fairly unexplored region of the planetoid. NASA is looking for a diverse crew for this operation, and hopes that the first person to set foot on the southern pole can be a woman.

Credit: NASA

Applications for the mission will open next week on March 2. They’re not just going to take any old Homer Simpson into the deep dark, though. NASA is searching for applicants with skills and experiences including (but not limited to):

  • 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in a jet aircraft
  • A Masters degree in a STEM field
  • At least 2 years of work toward a STEM Ph.D
  • A doctorate in medicine or osteopathic medicine
  • Completion of a test pilot program

In addition to setting foot on the southern pole, NASA is also hoping to begin laying the groundwork for an official moon base.