Hello all, so I'm just finishing up my basics in undergrad school and am starting to take math and introductory physics classes, and just wanted to clear something up to make sure that I'm not wasting my time. My goal is a PhD in astrophysics. Now I know that in order to get into a good grad school, I have to make good grades, score high on my GRE, and do UG research, which I am well on my way to doing. Now, here's my dilemma: I want to work for NASA doing research, and when I say working, I mean TRULY working for them, as in civil service. I am already a federal government employee with a nice, stable job, but astrophysics has always interested me. So a few questions: 1) Will I be able to maintain my job and still go to grad school? I'm flexible in that I can move almost anywhere with the type of work that I do, and I can work VERY part time if need be (16 hours or so per week). I hear that astrophysics have to put in a lot of hours every week to stay on top of things, and while I can understand having to work a lot just before a major presentation or something like that, working 60+ hours a week for any length of time is obviously not an option. 2) Will I be able to work for NASA in astrophysics research? I hear that astrophysics only comprises 9% of their budget (could be wrong) so that means fewer positions available. This is why I feel the need to hang on to my government job, because I know that everybody does their PhD, is incredibly smart, and does interesting and relevant research. I won't be unique in those aspects, so already possessing a govt job and NASA not having to do a background check, issue a security clearance (have that), etc.. may be the only thing that makes me stand out in any way. 3) If 2 is not a possibility, would you recommend any other degree to get in order to work for NASA? It's certainly an ambition of mine, so if there's any other way that doesn't involve doing boring managerial/admin type work, I'm all ears. To add, I'm currently double majoring in CS/Physics in order to build myself a safety net and least get SOMETHING useful if astrophysics doesn't work out, so if I can build on that in some way, I'd be eager for advice towards that end as well. Thanks guys!