An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft. While generally reserved for professional space travelers, the terms are sometimes applied to anyone who travels into space, including scientists, politicians, journalists, and tourists. As of June 20, 2011, a total of 523 people from 38 countries have reached 100 km (62 mi) or more in altitude, of which 520 reached low Earth orbit or beyond. Of these, 24 people have traveled beyond Low Earth orbit, to either lunar or trans-lunar orbit or to the surface of the moon; three of the 24 did so twice: Jim Lovell, John Young and Eugene Cernan. The three astronauts who have not reached low Earth orbit are spaceplane pilots Joe Walker, Mike Melvill, and Brian Binnie.
Basic requirements for an Astronaut Pilot include the following:
1. Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in engineering, biological science, physical science, or mathematics. An advanced degree is desirable. Quality of academic preparation is important.
2. At least 1,000 hours pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft. Flight test experience is highly desirable.
3. Ability to pass a NASA space physical which is similar to a military or civilian flight physical and includes the following specific standards:
Distant visual acuity: 20/100 or better uncorrected, correctable to 20/20 each eye.
Blood pressure: 140/90 measured in a sitting position.
Height between 62 and 75 inches.
The educational requirements are very complex, and their duties are also highly dangerous. As a result, they need to be compensated for this risk. Being highly specialized and elitist in a certain field mandatorily requires a high level of payment. The salaries for...