I've dreamed about it ever since I was six, and where I live people laugh at me when I tell them about this because for one, no one's ever been an astronaut in my country and two, I'm a girl. But I'll do anything to make it real! I don't care, it's all I've ever wanted!

Please I know this is childish, but I don't have many sources of information except the internet, so please it would be very kind if you could share your experience or any kind of detail that could help me pursue my dream. I would be very thankful.

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    $\begingroup$ answers.nssc.nasa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/5748/~/… $\endgroup$ Aug 6, 2015 at 18:55
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    $\begingroup$ Likely it's dependent on relations between countries, but Julie Payette is a Canadian who flew on NASA's Discovery, but she was already experienced within the CSA. More interestingly Helen Sharman, a Briton, joined a largely Soviet crew on a mission to Mir. Generally, it would be difficult to find a position in the flight crew without being a national or from a closely tied country. These days, however, many astronauts are just researchers conducting various studies. My suggestion, plan on getting a doctorate and becoming an amazing grant writer. $\endgroup$
    – Mitch Goshorn
    Aug 8, 2015 at 3:07
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    $\begingroup$ im sorry u guys i mean to be an astronaut (out in space) that is my only dream, thank you for your comments $\endgroup$
    – maya
    Aug 8, 2015 at 17:31
  • $\begingroup$ maya, I have cleaned up your question, and migrated it to the appropriate site. Something else that would help answer the question, if you don't mind sharing it, is what country you are in. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage
    Aug 9, 2015 at 1:47
  • $\begingroup$ Which country are you from ? Unless your country would adopt a manned space program soon, it might be wise to migrate to an other country which have one and where it is possible to acquire the citizenship. It would also be important to consider which country since some might be reluctant to promote even a naturalized national. $\endgroup$
    – Antzi
    Jul 25, 2016 at 8:08

2 Answers 2


NASA astronauts must be US citizens: see this document. In the past this resulted in some individuals changing citizenship to qualify. However, the international collaborative nature of spaceflight projects since Apollo has meant that many foreign nationals were trained by NASA and flown on NASA vehicles.

In the early days of the Shuttle program, nations that launched comsats from the Shuttle could fly a crewmember as a Payload Specialist...Saudia Arabia and Mexican nationals flew under this program.

There was a entire Shuttle Spacelab mission funded by West Germany; three West German nationals flew as Payload Specialists on this flight.

The deep involvement of Canada in the Shuttle and Station programs, through that nation's extensive contributions in robotics, lead to several Canadian nationals flying multiple missions.

In the 90s many European and Japanese individuals were trained by NASA to fly as mission specialists, especially in Groups 13 and 14. This was all handled by intergovernmental arrangements and the individuals were astronauts of their respective space agencies, not NASA.

Here is a complete list of international astronauts, defined by NASA as "those individuals from international space agencies who have trained or served with NASA Astronauts."

That's the history. In pursuit of your dream, you should know that unfortunately the number of astronauts needed by NASA is going to be very small for a long time, due to the long duration of missions flown to the ISS and the long delay until any other kind of NASA human spaceflight missions begin. But the bright spot is the possible growth in commercial spaceflight in the near future. Keep yourself in top physical condition, study medicine, engineering, or science and excel at it, obtain a pilot's licence if possible, and follow your dream! I salute your ambition!

  • $\begingroup$ I think you should include in this answer that to be an astronaut you have to be military or ex-military. NASA claims some astronauts are "civilians" but if you look up the people they claim this for then you will find that by "civilians" they actually mean ex-military as opposed to active duty. $\endgroup$ Aug 11, 2015 at 23:31
  • $\begingroup$ You are incorrect. There are plenty of astronauts that were never in the military. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karen_L._Nyberg en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leland_D._Melvin $\endgroup$ Aug 11, 2015 at 23:32
  • $\begingroup$ @developerwjk Perhaps you're thinking of pilots? See this question. Non-pilot astronauts have included many that have never been in the military as Organic Marble pointed out. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage
    Oct 12, 2015 at 17:54

You may be interested in the career of Dr. Michael Foale CBE who was British but wanted to persue a career as an astronaut. His determination to become suitably qualified and become both a US citizen and an astronaut resulted in him achieving over 374 days of space experience.


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