With all the talk about Lisa Nowak – the troubled Houston Astronaut – I wondered just how much do they make… I did a quick internet search and was surprised they were paid so little. I thought someone who traveled into space risking life and limb would get at least $300,000. But here’s what they’re paid by the federal government:
Salaries for civilian Astronaut Candidates are based on the Federal Government’s General Schedule pay scale for grades GS-12 through GS-13. Each person’s grade is determined according to his/her academic achievements and experience. Currently, a GS-12 starts at $65,140 per year and a GS-13 can earn up to $100,701 per year.
Military Astronaut Candidates are assigned to the Johnson Space Center and remain in an active duty status for pay, benefits, leave, and other similar military matters.