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My dream is to be a NASA astronaut. I am a 16 year old girl from India, my height is currently 5 feet, and my weight is 55kg. Can my height and weight create problems in fulfilling my dream?

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    $\begingroup$ Your nationality is the problem. American citizens only. $\endgroup$
    – Antzi
    Aug 29 '17 at 12:02
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    $\begingroup$ ISRO has own manned mission programm (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_human_spaceflight_programme) $\endgroup$ Aug 29 '17 at 12:22
  • $\begingroup$ Yep - even if you start now, by the time you pass naturalization process and become US citizen, you'll be likely too old to start the astronaut training. Go with ISRO. Your chance is much better. $\endgroup$
    – SF.
    Aug 29 '17 at 13:13
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    $\begingroup$ Regarding nationality, look at Piers Sellers: born a UK citizen, moved to the US in his 20's, naturalised in his 30's, became an astronaut in his early 40's. $\endgroup$
    – djr
    Aug 29 '17 at 20:50
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    $\begingroup$ Being light is good in space, you eat less too and is easier on the life support systems. Women don't suffer from that eye problem, which might be the worst health problem with microgravity, that some men do. $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    Sep 3 '17 at 18:09
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Besides potential height requirements: you are still young.

Focus on what you can achieve towards reaching your goal, and by the time you'll be old enough, the requirements might have changed. Especially with the booming space commercial industry.

Namely:

  • Study hard
  • Aim for the top; you want to be the number 1 student in every topics.
  • Reach for higher education, especially if your local school isn't one of the best. Websites like kan academy can help a lot.
  • Keep a fit shape, exercising regularly is good.
  • Try playing KSP: it's fun and will teach you something useful.
  • Learning foreign languages. Currently Russian and Japanese are the most useful but I suspect Chinese will supplant them soon.

In the end, it will payoff. You might not become an astronaut but you'll accomplish other great things by aiming high regardless.

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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh It is nowhere stated that you need to be 1st in every topic. However, if you are going to aim for a job where less than 1% of the candidates are accepted, you want to reach excellence. This is not something you can do by focusing on one thing.The skills requirement for astronauts is very broad, going from pure science to public relations. $\endgroup$
    – Antzi
    Aug 30 '17 at 2:01
  • $\begingroup$ @uhoh Things you can learn playing KSP: - Orbital mechanics - Angular momentum - Rendez vous techniques - Oberth effect - Tsiolkovski rocket equation - Hohmann transfers - Gravity assists - ... Not only the game will push you to document yourself and learn more, but it will also SHOW you in real time, using your OWN rocket, as you apply the techniques learned in theory, instead of just providing a simple illustration. $\endgroup$
    – Antzi
    Aug 30 '17 at 2:05
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As far as physical size, it will all depend on what the design requirements were/are for the vehicle you plan to ride in.

For example: Since the Space Shuttle was designed to serve a large and diverse crewmember population, it had generous height limitations. (I'd love to quote them, but the situation in Houston is...interesting right now, and it would take a while for me to find them.) Memory says it was 5%-95% percentile of the American population in the 70s when it was being designed.

Future vehicles designed for tourism may have even more generous size requirements.

This paper quotes the same 5%-95% percentile requirements for an advanced space suit. Perhaps that is the de facto standard.

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    $\begingroup$ The Space Shuttle is retired, so it's no longer relevant. Currently the only manned spacecraft in active service is the Soyuz, so you might want to look up its crew parameters. I did a cursory search and unfortunately didn't find anything, though. $\endgroup$
    – Philipp
    Aug 30 '17 at 8:47
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, clarified that I was using shuttle as an example to show that crewmember size is a requirement that drives design. Note the use of past tense. $\endgroup$ Aug 30 '17 at 10:03
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To complement Antzi's answer, here is some advice by the one and only Chris Hadfield on how to become an Astronaut.

Paraphrasing: In order to become anything first you have to decide what you want to be -it should be exciting to you-, once decided other decisions should aim at turning yourself into want you want to be. In order to become an Astronaut, you need to keep your body in shape, learn things -expose yourself to the right stuff- and learn to work (at home or somewhere else).

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