What are the most important skills an astronaut should have m?
First of all, the basic requirement is a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field, and 3 years of experience (which can also be substituted for by an advanced degree). Other than that, operational experience (things with a technical/active/hands on nature like flying airplanes, SCUBA diving, taking things apart and putting them back together, basic fix-it skills, etc. etc.) is very important, as this is an integral aspect of every day of a space mission. What we call “expeditionary skills” are also essential, basically the types of things you try to instill in your children, like how to play nicely with others, self care, team care, etc. I like to think about this on the lines of a camping trip and who you would like to have along with you …someone that is competent and can take good care of themselves and their equipment, someone that contributes to the team and helps with group tasks, someone that is good natured and pleasant to be around, etc., someone fun! These things are increasingly important now that we are regularly doing long duration missions (typical International Space Station mission is 6 months). Experience living in extreme/remote/isolated environments with small teams is also useful, as it is similar to what we experience as astronauts.