Mon. Jun 1st, 2020

How much does Nasa pay its astronauts?

3 min read

Turns out being an astronaut is a well paid gig (Nasa)

Turns out being an astronaut is a well paid gig (Nasa)

Astronauts have to risk their lives for the job, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that they get paid pretty well for the work they do.

But how much, exactly?

Well, you have to remember that astronaut isn’t usually someone’s first job. Often, they’re test pilots – it’s required that any astronaut has logged three years’ professional experience or 1,000 hours flying a jet before they can qualify.

They’re also required to have degrees in science, engineering or maths and have to pass a rigorous selection process that’s much harder than getting into any university you care to name.

Once they make it though, they get paid a lot for their work.

Nasa pays employees on a scale called the Federal Government’s General Schedule. Astronauts are on so-called ‘grades’ known as GS-12 and GS-13. Within each grade are several ‘steps’ that go form 1 to 10 and are based on performance and years of service.

Undated handout photo issued by NASA of ISS commander Luca Parmitano baking cookies on board the International Space Station (ISS), as chocolate chip cookies have become the first food to be baked in space. PA Photo. Issue date: Thursday January 23, 2020. See PA story SCIENCE Cookies. Photo credit should read: NASA/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

ISS commander Luca Parmitano baking cookies on board the International Space Station (Credits: PA)

If you’re a new astronaut on GS-12 step 1, then you’re looking at $66,167 (£54,110) per year.

If you move up to GS-12 step 10, then you’re in line for a $86,021 (£70,326) per year.

Now, if you’re an excellent astronaut and have served for many years, you may be a GS-13 step 10 earning $102,288 (£83,625) per year, according to Nasa .

NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson pauses for a portrait while donning her spacesuit and going under water in the Neutral Buoyancy Lab, Monday, July 8, 2019 at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Nasa astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson pauses for a portrait while donning her spacesuit and going under water in the Neutral Buoyancy Lab during astronaut training (Credits: (NASA/Bill Ingalls))

The General Schedule is also just a guide. Astronauts may receive more or less depending on which locations they work in or what missions they’re involved in.

Nasa is currently looking at the next generation of astronauts to go back to the moon and eventually to Mars . In a job listing, the space agency listed a salary range of $104,898 to $161,141 per year.

Two astronauts, Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken, are set to earn their paychecks later this month when they take off for the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon craft for the first time.

The launch is set to take place on May 27 from Cape Canaveral in Florida. It will be the first time Nasa has launched astronauts from American soil since 2011. Since retiring the space shuttle, Nasa has relied on Russian rockets to transport crew to the ISS. Next week’s launch will be a huge moment for both Nasa and SpaceX.

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken, left, and Doug Hurley, wearing SpaceX spacesuits, walk through the Crew Access Arm connecting the launch tower to the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft during a dress rehearsal at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Jan. 17, 2020 (SpaceX)

Nasa astronauts Bob Behnken, left, and Doug Hurley, wearing SpaceX spacesuits, walk through the Crew Access Arm connecting the launch tower to the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft during a dress rehearsal at Nasa’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Jan. 17, 2020 (SpaceX)

‘The Demo-2 mission will be the final major step before NASA’s Commercial Crew Program certifies Crew Dragon for operational, long-duration missions to the space station,’ the space agency said.

‘This certification and regular operation of Crew Dragon will enable NASA to continue the important research and technology investigations taking place onboard the station, which benefits people on Earth and lays the groundwork for future exploration of the Moon and Mars with the agency’s Artemis program.’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © All rights reserved. | Newsphere by AF themes.