NASA now accepting astronaut applications

(Getty Images)

Have you always wanted to be an astronaut? Well, now's your chance to apply.

NASA began accepting applications Monday for the Astronaut Candidate Program. The agency, named the best place to work in the federal government four years in a row, is looking for explorers to fly on any of four spacecraft: the International Space Station, two commercial crew spacecraft and NASA's Orion exploration vehicle.

"NASA is on an ambitious journey to Mars and we're looking for talented men and women from diverse backgrounds and every walk of life to help get us there," said NASA administrator Charles Bolden. "Today, we opened the application process for our next class of astronauts, extraordinary Americans who will take the next giant leap in exploration. This group will launch to space from U.S. soil on American-made spacecraft and blaze the trail on our journey to the Red Planet."

The entry deadline is Feb. 18, 2016. Applications must be submitted through the Office of Personnel Management's USAJOBS web site at http://www.usajobs.gov.

NASA expects to announce the final candidate selections in mid-2017.