What Astronauts do?
Astronauts are trained pilots who travel through space for exploration of new things. The job of an astronaut is to explore everything beyond earth. This is a different task as compare to any other activity because of the totally different environment for survival.
Duties of an astronaut are different from any normal activity you do in daily life. The duties are divided in to crew of astronauts according to their specialties. Here is a list of their duties, take a look:-
Navigation of spaceship is the primary task while going out of atmosphere which needs an experienced pilot. Mostly these pilots come from air force background with great flying skills and experience. Pilot has to spend his/here most of the time in training for perfection. For a single space mission, countless flights at training are required.
- Leadership of crew
Just like the in charge of any activity at work places or educational institutions, astronaut crew members also need in charge. In charge of crew is responsible towards vehicle, payload, other members and all other activities. Every information regarding navigation of vehicle is shared with leader so that future decisions should be taken effectively.
- Coordination of activities
There are a large number of complex activities to be performed in space which needs coordination. Some tasks are assigned to astronauts as various space activities as well as inside the space craft. They are known as mission specialists who are specialized in their fields such as engineering to tackle all the mechanical problems of aircraft or biology to examine the outer atmosphere for the signs of life.
- Extravehicular activities
In the open space, various extravehicular activities need to be performed to gather the information. The task of these astronauts is to go out of the space craft and do every possible activity that is needed to perform such as taking samples of soil or simply walk through the space for records.
- Payload specialists
A space mission is organized to explore every kind of possibilities of life and signs of living outside earth. The payload specialists are assigned to perform various experiments during their mission so that valuable information can be obtained which is not possible on earth.
The success of a space mission depends upon the whole crew because they all are specialized in their different fields. Without proper coordination, a mission cannot survive for a long time. Every single detail about the duties assigned to astronaut must be followed because a little bit of ignorance may be leads to the failure of space mission. Outer space has nothing similar with the environment of earth, so the only way to survive and succeed the mission is coordination between all the crew.
Apart from the regular pilots and commanders, some specialists are assigned to perform a specific task. Such as, if the mission is focused on searching possibilities of basic life signs at any part of outer space then an expert biologist can be added as a crew member who could be discontinued on next mission.
If you think that most of the life of astronauts is spent in space then your assumption is totally wrong. It needs years of training and exercise to perform a small duration of mission. The working environment of an astronaut is full of intense training and exercise because they need to be perfect in their specialized field such as payload, leadership or piloting. Most of the tome of astronauts is spent in training schools whether he/she is a pilot, engineer or any other specialist. To improve the physical and mental requirements, it is important to spend much time in simulators, classrooms and gym.
It is expected that an astronaut must stay calm and steady in any kind of odd situation. The training session of astronauts is the most important part of becoming an astronaut. Astronauts are trained for continuous work without taking break in any kind of emergency in space. It is very important that they must stay calm to face every off situation. The total time spend on actual mission is actually the smallest portion of time spend on preparations. It is very important to make the astronauts familiar to the mission as it is their daily life task.
When you are working in a completely different environment as compare to your habitat planet then the risk of injuries becomes higher. An astronaut may face both illness and injuries in space and the curing them in space is much difficult than earth. Due to change occurred in the atmosphere and gravity; an astronaut may face motion sickness, headache, back pain or sleeplessness. Astronaut may also face some dermatological and respiration problems in space.
Even the little injuries may cause serious circumstances during space mission because you cannot ask of medical help from hospital. The emergency medical kits provided in space craft are the only way to survive from any kind of injury in space. A single injury due to the mistake may result to serious life threat. Parachute failure, decompression and vehicle disintegration are some common incidents that took life of many astronauts in previous missions.
The work schedule of astronomical job cannot be assigned as a part of pre planning. However the daily routine includes most of the tasks that are performed on earth. Apart from the essential activities like eating, sleeping and bathing, the work schedule of every astronaut is different from each other. They have to exercise regularly to keep the body fit for mission.
Most of the time of astronauts is spent doing various scientific experiments such as collection samples and data readings of space. Medical experiments are also performed to test the abilities of human body survival in micro gravity circumstances and different levels of pressure.
Being an astronomer is one of the greatest achievements because the number of space explorers is very few. Generally the average salary of an astronaut is $55,000 which varies on the basis of position. They are paid from $27,000 to $80,000 according to responsibilities. But status of being an astronomer is much higher than salary.
How to become an astronaut?
To become an astronaut, you need to pass these physical standards:-
- 20/20 vision which could be natural or with the help of lenses.
- Blood pressure must not exceed more than 140/90 in idle position.
- Height is required between 62 to 75 inches.
When it comes to the educational qualification, it is expected that a person must qualified one of the bachelor degree from following:-
- Biological science
- Physical science
Apart from the institutional qualifications, special classes of:-
- Military applicants
- Civil applicants
Are also essential.