The space agency said that an astonishing 18,300 people applied for the class, but only 15 will make the grade for training.
The previous record for applicants came in 1978 when 8,000 people applied and the current enrolment is almost triple the amount of applicants that it got for its last recruitment drive in 2012.
NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden said: “It’s not at all surprising to me that so many Americans from diverse backgrounds want to personally contribute to blazing the trail on our journey to Mars.”
The agency says that to become an astronaut, you need a degree in engineering, science, computer science or maths and have at least 1000 hours worth of pilot-in-command time in a jet aircraft under your belt.
The applicants will also need to be extremely fit in order to pass a “NASA long-duration astronaut physical” which includes qualities such as 20/20 vision – the use of glasses is accepted.
“Since all crew members will be expected to fly aboard a specific spacecraft vehicle and perform Extravehicular Activities (space walks), applicants must meet the anthropometric requirements for both the specific vehicle and the extravehicular activity mobility unit (space suit).
“Training over the next few years will see the candidates learn Russian, have “International Space Station systems training, Extravehicular Activity skills training, Robotics skills training … and aircraft flight readiness training.”
Eventually, from the 15 chosen for its training program, just eight may be selected, but up to as many as 14 have the chance of making the cut.
Mr Bolden continued: “A few exceptionally talented men and women will become the astronauts chosen in this group who will once again launch to space from US soil on American-made spacecraft.”