Salaries for astronauts are based upon the Federal Government's General Schedule pay scale for grades GS-11 through GS-14. Grade GS-11 starts at $64,724 per year, a GS-14 has the ability to earn up to $141,715 per year.
Military experience is not required to become an astronaut. Military astronaut candidates are detailed to the Johnson Space Center and receive active military pay and benefits. When astronauts increase their skills and experience, their pay will increase accordingly. NASA sends only a few astronauts into space per year, meaning that astronauts must spend their time giving talks, teaching, training and other duties as assigned.