From a pool of 500 applicants, seven men were selected to become the first American astronauts, known as the Mercury 7. This included base pay, quarters, subsistence allowance and flight pay, according to the Boston Herald. His estate’s current net worth is $8 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. The second thing all potential astronauts must have is experience — either a minimum of three years of related professional experience obtained after degree completion or at least 1,000 hours pilot-in-command time on a jet aircraft. Although Collins’ net worth is unknown, he’s had a successful career post-Apollo 11. Armstrong and the Apollo 11 crew were among the highest-paid astronauts of their day, and they made far more than astronauts who are just starting out in their careers today. Accounting for inflation, Armstrong was paid $230 in 2019 dollars — so it seems like NASA really got a bargain considering the giant, history-making risk Armstrong was taking. He also served on the National Commission on Space and the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger. But no. Order a copy of our new book, "Apollo 50" and get $10 off the cover price. When Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins blasted off on their trip to the moon in July 1969, they were being paid by the U.S. government. All Rights Military. Connect with friends faster than ever with the new Facebook app. TheAtlantic.com Copyright (c) 2020 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. Astronaut pay could anywere from $89,693 to $122,336. And that is, in part, fitting: Though the astronauts got the attention for Apollo 11, they were simply part of a team at NASA that made the moonwalk a success. Their salaries reflected that status. Armstrong’s historic moonwalk lasted two hours and 40 minutes. Twice. In every interview they gave and every public move they made both before and after their journey, they made clear that, before anything else, they were pilots, pure and simple. Making it to the training phase is a huge feat, but the process of becoming an astronaut has really only just begun — the training program takes approximately two years to complete. In his book Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth, Andrew Smith detailed the expense policies enjoyed by Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins during one of the business trips they'd taken for work. Collins has worked as the assistant secretary of state for public affairs, the first director of the National Air and Space Museum, undersecretary of the Smithsonian Institution and vice president of field operations for the Vought Corporation. He continues to advocate for human space exploration as a Global Stateman for Space and creator of think-tank the Human SpaceFlight Institute. And its costs were handled accordingly. “The annual pay and allowances for an Air Force colonel with Aldrin’s time in service total $18,622.56,” NASA said in 1969. Aldrin now has a net worth of $12 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Find Out: What the Average Take-Home Salary Looks Like in Your State. One crucial difference: the families of Resnik, Smith, and McNair hired lawyers to negotiate for them. This is what astronomic accounting looks like: a salary, with a per diem, with deductions. As NASA writes on its official benefits page, “Your NASA job is the greatest benefit of all. © Kammerer Bernd/Action Press / Shutterstock.com, what it would take for you to make it to outer space, What the Average Take-Home Salary Looks Like in Your State, The Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs in America, 30 Jobs That Aren’t Worth Their Education Requirements, 24 Ways To Make This Week’s Paycheck Go Further, Here’s How Much Cash You Need Stashed If an Emergency Happens, 21 Smartest Ways To Invest Your Money Right Now. In 1969, life insurance was not part of the astronauts’ government-provided benefits package, and Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins reportedly couldn’t afford to pay for it on their own. », WUCF TV wins national award for Summer of Space, Apollo 12 blasted off 50 years ago today - and got struck by lightning twice, Countdown to Apollo 11 series front pages, Motorcyclist killed in Kissimmee crash, FHP says, 2 dead, 15 wounded in Vienna terror attack, authorities say. The highest-paid GS-14 employees earn a salary of $117,810. Astronauts must pass the NASA long-duration physical and have 20/20 vision, with or without corrective lenses. The middle pay grades for astronauts are G-12 and G-13; each grade is divided into 10 steps, which depend on seniority and/or performance. Potential astronauts must have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science or mathematics. Astronauts are paid according to the federal government’s General Schedule pay scale, and they can fall on the GS-11 through GS-14 pay grades. Astronauts' pay grades previously mentioned correspond to the G-11 through G-14 pay grades of the federal government. Collins, the command module pilot, had graduated from West Point in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science degree. These include flexible work and leave programs, cost of living salary increases, employer-subsidized HMO and fee-for-service health plans, paid sick and annual leave, enrollment in the Federal Employees Retirement System and Thrift Savings Plan eligibility. Training includes military water survival tests, microgravity exposure and learning how to deal with emergencies in high-pressure situations. Collins, the third astronaut on the iconic Apollo 11 mission, earned a salary of $17,148 a year including fringe benefits, the Boston Herald reported. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com. The pay grade is based on an astronaut… According to UK Insurance Net, the astronauts signed autographs that came to be known as “insurance covers” that their families could sell in the event they died. Godspeed and all, boys, but if you order room service up there, you pay out of pocket. After all, what else is there to do doing quarantine? Military astronauts are put on active duty status and are paid accordingly. Candidates who meet all three astronaut requirements and pass the initial screening must go through a week-long process of interviews, medical screenings and orientations. finance.yahoo.com/news/believe-much-astronauts-used-231238348.html I Can't Believe This Social Security Bonus Was So Easy, Americans Are Obsessed With New Blanket That Puts You To Sleep In Minutes, 23 New Gadgets That Will Sell Out Before the Holidays. At the time of the Apollo 11 mission, the per diem the astronauts received was the same whether they were on the moon or back at the base, according to the book “Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to the Earth.” And how much was that per diem? A trip, in this case, to the moon. In 1969, Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin completed the Apollo 11 mission to land on the moon and return to earth, with Armstrong and Aldrin becoming the first two humans to walk on the moon. Armstrong, the commander of the moon journey and a civilian who was working for NASA, was the highest-paid of the astronauts. Godspeed and all, boys, but if you order room service up there, you pay out of pocket. Their lawyers objected to Justice Department positions in the case, and these three families are not likely to see any money from the government. A master’s degree is considered equivalent to one year of experience, and a doctoral degree is considered equivalent to three years of experience. At the time of the Apollo 11 flight in 1969, Neil Armstrong was paid a salary of $27,401 and was the highest paid of the flying astronauts, according to the Boston Herald. The astronauts' caveat-laden per diem—which works out to about $50 in 2012 currency, pre-deduction—came on top of a relatively modest salary. “As a civil servant, Armstrong, a GS-16 Step 7, earns $30,054 per annum,” NASA said in a news release before the 1969 moon landing. Meeting the education and experience requirements isn’t enough — you also have to be physically up for the challenge of working in space. When Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins blasted off on their trip to the moon in July 1969, they were being paid by the U.S. government. That works out to over $100,000 in 2012 dollars—generous, but also, considering the astronauts' substantial education and the even more substantial risk they were taking in their mission, notably low. We want to hear what you think about this article. He had a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Purdue and attended graduate school at Southern Cal before joining NASA in 1955. But the numbers here are also telling in the context of NASA's insistent bureaucracy. Based on his salary and a 40-hour work week, that means he would have been paid roughly $33 for his time on the moon. This low pay actually makes a lot of sense. Things have changed since then, including both the criteria to become an astronaut and how much these men and women are paid. Their pay, benefits and leave are calculated according to active duty status. And yes, astronauts now get life insurance through the government-wide Federal Employees Group Life Insurance. He had received a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1951 and earned a Doctor of Science degree in Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1963. Urinating, in comparison, was much easier. Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin completed the Apollo 11 mission to land on the moon and return to earth, with Armstrong and Aldrin becoming the first two humans to walk on the moon. That’s about $56 in 2019 dollars, which actually isn’t too bad considering there isn’t anything to spend money on while on the moon. Reserved. The starting salary for GS-11 employees is $53,805. In a 2005 review of Moondust in the London Review of Books, Steven Shapin reported that the "Moon Men," for their troubles, received "the same basic pay rates as other US military officers." That salary today would amount to $119,333. He has also written four books, including “Carrying the Fire” about the Apollo 11 mission. Find out how astronauts’ salaries have changed over the years and what it would take for you to make it to outer space. After retiring from NASA in 1971, Armstrong worked as a professor at the University of Cincinnati, and later as the chairman or director of several companies, including Computing Technologies for Aviation and AIL Systems.
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