As we progress into the future of space exploration with some major changes coming in the way we think our missions, NASA has announced that they’ve brought on 12 new male and female astronaut candidates for 2017.
Image Credit: NASA/Robert Markowitz
NASA says they’ve received a record-breaking number of applications (18,300) from aspiring astronauts to-be and that they’ve picked the largest astronaut class since 2000. The 12 new astronaut candidates also mean NASA has selected as many as 350 astronauts since the original Mercury 7 back in 1959.
These are the folks that could carry out future space missions, whether it’s with a trip to the International Space Station on a commercial rocket and cargo ship, or a trip to deep space with NASA’s upcoming Space Launch System rocket inside of an Orion spacecraft.
The ages of the selected astronaut candidates range from 29-42. Meet them below:
“We look forward to the energy and talent of these astronauts fueling our exciting future of discovery,” acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot said.
“Between expanding the crew on board the space station to conduct more research than ever before, and making preparations to send humans farther into space than we’ve ever been, we are going to keep them busy. These candidates are an important addition to the NASA family and the nation’s human spaceflight team.”
The selected astronaut class of 2017 will visit Johnson Space Center in Houston in August to begin their astronaut training where they’ll learn more about space safety, space equipment, space technology, and space physics.
“These women and men deserve our enthusiastic congratulations,” said astronaut and Johnson Space Center Director Ellen Ochoa. “Children all across the United States right now dream of being in their shoes someday. We here at NASA are excited to welcome them to the team and look forward to working with them to inspire the next generation of explorers.”
Seeing a new generation take the torch at NASA is as inspiring as ever for young aspiring astronauts who want to be able to go to space one day. If you're interested in becoming an astronaut some day, then you might want to learn more about the requirements and what training looks like on NASA's Tumblr blog.