“This next group of American space explorers will inspire the Mars generation to reach for new heights, and help us realize the goal of putting boot prints on the Red Planet,” saidNASA Administrator Charles Bolden in a statement.
— NASA Astronauts (@NASA_Astronauts) December 11, 2015
“For the person that goes to Mars … certainly an operational type of background will be important,” Kelly explained.
“On the space station, we’re it. If something breaks, whether it’s the electrical system, or the hardware that removes the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, we have to fix it. If there’s a science experiment, we are the ones that conduct it. Computer problems — we have to take care of those too … So I think someone that’s kind of a jack–of–all–trades.”
Kelly also noted that getting along well with others is a critical skill future astronauts should have. “What is [also] critical is team work, and being able to work as part of a team, and it’s a diverse team … it will probably be an international effort [to get to Mars], and getting along with and working well with your international colleagues will be very important.”
Visit NASA’s website to learn more about requirements for becoming an astronaut.