If you've always wanted to be an astronaut, well, NASA might be able to help you with that. As long as you have "considerable knowledge and skills." Oh, and if you can "bear tremendous responsibility in orbit" that would be preferred. Also you must be "determined to succeed." Yep, NASA is recruiting.

Judging from all the statements below, it seems as if you also must be American - surely this should not be a prerequisite to go into space? Is there not an international effort? Hmm. Anyway - I've handily underlined all mentions of this being an American effort, just out of interest.

NASA said in a statement:

"With more human spacecraft in development in the United States today than at any other time in history, future astronauts will launch once again from the Space Coast of Florida on American-made commercial spacecraft, and carry out deep-space exploration missions that will advance a future human mission to Mars."

But what do you need? At least a bachelor's degree in biological science, physical science, engineering or mathematics - obviously with more advanced degrees preferred - and experience in these fields is required. You'll also need to pass an inflight physical. Prospective astronauts must also engage in several years of intense physical, psychological and academic training; and if you're to be stationed on the ISS, you'll need to get learning some Russian.

NASA administrator Charles Bolden gave a statement:

"This next group of American space explorers will inspire the Mars generation to reach for new heights, and help us realise the goal of putting boot prints on the Red Planet. Those selected for this service will fly on US made spacecraft from American soil, advance critical science and research aboard the International Space Station, and help push the boundaries of technology in the proving ground of deep space."

With that sort of language, it feels like the beginning of a new Space Race.

NASA will be accepting applications from 14th December 2015 to February 2016, and is expected to announce candidates in 2017. Those chosen will fly on one of four US spacecraft, including the ISS.

If you think this is for you, apply online.

In the meantime, we rounded-up all cosmos-related news for you last month: check out our feature A Month In Space.