how much did astronauts get paid in 1970
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. Reserved. 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? Aldrin is also the author of nine books, including the children’s book “Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet” and the New York Times bestseller “No Dream Is Too High: Life Lessons From a Man Who Walked on the Moon.”, Check Out: The Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs in America. Government employees. Aldrin, the second man on the moon and the lunar module pilot, was a colonel in the United States Air Force when he rode aboard Apollo 11. Aldrin now has a net worth of $12 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article. Godspeed and all, boys, but if you order room service up there, you pay out of pocket. 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. All Rights », 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. Meeting the education and experience requirements isn’t enough — you also have to be physically up for the challenge of working in space. ... With deductions for the "accommodation" provided by the spaceship. As NASA writes on its official benefits page, “Your NASA job is the greatest benefit of all. Astronaut pay could anywere from $89,693 to $122,336. 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. Connect with friends faster than ever with the new Facebook app. He was a lieutenant colonel when he flew aboard Apollo 11. Advanced degrees can also be substituted for experience. Aldrin’s $18,622.56 in 1969 would be $128,988.88 today, and Collins’ $17.147.36 would equal $118,770.93 now. Their lawyers objected to Justice Department positions in the case, and these three families are not likely to see any money from the government. Although Collins’ net worth is unknown, he’s had a successful career post-Apollo 11. He also served on the National Commission on Space and the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger. The middle pay for a G-12 employee is $73,090 to $75,240, and the middle pay for a G-13 employee is $86,911 to $89,467. The astronauts of Apollo 11: Intrepid explorers. Not at all. 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. But how much money they made while on their historic mission might surprise you. Order a copy of our new book, "Apollo 50" and get $10 off the cover price. Copyright (c) 2020 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. His estate’s current net worth is $8 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. 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. Armstrong’s historic moonwalk lasted two hours and 40 minutes. The highest-paid astronauts earn a salary of $117,810, but the experience of working for NASA can be priceless. “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. It is simple supply and demand. So comparatively, the Apollo-11 astronauts were well paid. In addition to competitive salaries, NASA employees are civil-service employees and are therefore entitled to a number of benefits. 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. Armstrong came a long way from not being able to afford life insurance. Astronauts must pass the NASA long-duration physical and have 20/20 vision, with or without corrective lenses. He had a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Purdue and attended graduate school at Southern Cal before joining NASA in 1955. Urinating, in comparison, was much easier. And yes, astronauts now get life insurance through the government-wide Federal Employees Group Life Insurance. Other physical requirements include having blood pressure that does not exceed 140/90 and a height between 5 feet, 1 inch tall and 6 feet, 3 inches tall. 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. The pay grade is based on an astronaut’s academic achievements and experience. But they were determined to provide for their families in the event that they lost their lives during their Apollo 11 mission, so they got creative. 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. Their pay, benefits and leave are calculated according to active duty status. To become a NASA astronaut, you must be a U.S. citizen and meet three other qualifications, the first of which is an education requirement. Inspirational heroes. We assume that Uncle Sam handsomely rewarded the single combat warriors who hung their asses far out over the line and did one of the most amazing things that any of us can imagine. From a pool of 500 applicants, seven men were selected to become the first American astronauts, known as the Mercury 7. Armstrong’s $30,054 salary 50 years ago would be $208,169 in 2019 dollars. Why did the government settle with some astronaut families and not with others? The starting salary for GS-11 employees is $53,805. Initially, these applicants were chosen based on flight experience, engineering training and height — due to the size of the Mercury spacecraft, these men had to be below 5 feet, 11 inches. Astronauts' pay grades previously mentioned correspond to the G-11 through G-14 pay grades of the federal government. 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. Find out how astronauts’ salaries have changed over the years and what it would take for you to make it to outer space. 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." When they went to the Moon, they received the same per diem compensation as they would have for being away from base in Bakersfield: eight dollars a day, before various deductions (like for accommodation, because the government was providing the bed in the spaceship). A trip, in this case, to the moon. Military astronauts are put on active duty status and are paid accordingly. But the numbers here are also telling in the context of NASA's insistent bureaucracy. Training includes military water survival tests, microgravity exposure and learning how to deal with emergencies in high-pressure situations. 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. 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. That salary today would amount to $119,333. The first group of astronauts was hired by NASA in 1959. 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. Godspeed and all, boys, but if you order room service up there, you pay out of pocket. That means the average astronaut’s pay is $81,177. That translates to $190,684 in 2019 dollars. Deductions! Teaching experience also counts as related professional experience. If you adjust for inflation, the astronauts’ salaries look better. 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. And while America’s focus hasn’t been on space exploration in a good nine years, the launch of a SpaceX Crew Dragon is piquing people’s interests. 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. © Kammerer Bernd/Action Press /, 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. Half of those people made it to the second round of interviews, and only 12 were selected to move on to the training program, CNN reported. We want to hear what you think about this article. 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. 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. One crucial difference: the families of Resnik, Smith, and McNair hired lawyers to negotiate for them. A master’s degree is considered equivalent to one year of experience, and a doctoral degree is considered equivalent to three years of experience. 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. View the full Houston GS Pay Table. Twice. Collins, the command module pilot, had graduated from West Point in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science degree. 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.


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