Notification of Selection: You’re Going to Space, Baby!
From the application deadline to the start of training, the entire recruiting timeline can take up to two years! Applications are due around March. The first cycle of application review starts relatively quickly but can happen through July since it can take a long time to sort through that many applications! Around August, they check references. Then, they perform a second application review cycle for highly qualified applicants in the fall. The most exciting part for applications happens next: round 1 interviews happen between February and April of the following year. We’re already a year into the process! Between June and July, round two interviews will occur for additional interviews and testing. In September, some lucky applicants will even qualify for round three interviews. In October or November of that year, the news we’re all waiting for is ready. They say who is in the Astronaut Candidate Class.
After the grueling process of weeding out candidates, they notify the lucky few. Get ready for a phone call from Flight Operations’ head at the Johnson Space Center. They’ll also receive a call from the chief of the Astronaut Office. Chosen candidates are told only to share the news with their immediate family until NASA makes an official announcement to the rest of the world during a news conference. During this news conference, they invite journalists to chat with the members of the astronaut class. After that, training automatically begins.