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Astronaut requirements change rapidly with private space pilots, lengthy missions



NASA’s class of astronauts in 2017 will attend graduation ceremonies at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, on January 10, 2020. This is the first class to upgrade under the Artemis program, and the 13 astronauts are now eligible for International Space Station missions. Artemis missions to the moon and ultimately missions to Mars. (Image credit: NASA)

Being an astronaut in the 2020s will be completely different than it was for any astronaut who came before, a panel of astronauts told the Virtual International Astronautical Congress on Wednesday (October 14).

The space environment is changing rapidly due to several different factors. The International Space Station (ISS) is pushing harder into commercialization and will soon welcome more and larger space agency crews on commercial crew vehicles while bringing in a few private astronauts.


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