NASA announced earlier this week that they are now accepting applications for the next class of astronauts -- and because it's a federal job, anybody can apply (whether you're qualified or not is a different story).

15 full-time astronauts (as opposed to part-time?) will be hired by the space agency in the next couple of months, each with a salary range from $64,700 to $141,715 per year, plus benefits (medical, dental, and leaving the earth's atmosphere).

Some, but not all, of the qualifications include the following:

- Bachelor's degree in engineering, biological science, physical science, or math.

- At least three years of related, "progressively responsible," professional experience beyond your degree, or at least 1,000 hours pilot-in-command time in a jet aircraft.

- Ability to pass the NASA long-duration space flight physical.

- You are 62 to 75 inches tall.

- You can pass a swimming test.

- Frequent travel may be required (perhaps to Mars).

I am, of course, simplifying a very complex selection process that includes a 2-year long training and evaluation period if you are lucky enough to be chosen, not to mention training on how to live and work on a space station, robotics skills training, and learning to speak Russian.

If you are interested in applying, you can view the ad here. Should you actually find yourself on the International Space Station by hearing about this job opening from my blog post, please wear a Cat Country t-shirt in outer space. We'll even give you Cat Balls for the space station.