Feel like getting off the world for a while? You’ve got company! As the U.S. News & World Report states, some 12,000 people have applied to become astronauts following a call from NASA for volunteers. It’s the second largest group of would-be spacefarers in the agency’s history.
The hopefuls come from all 50 American states, as well as the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories. Those selected will probably travel to the International Space Station and pave the way for exploration of the moon and Mars.
The previous call for recruits drew a record 18,300 candidates, of which 12 were ultimately chosen. This time around NASA tightened its qualifications, requiring a master’s degree in science, technology, engineering, or math. There are currently 48 active astronauts in the group.