NASA Selects 10 New Astronaut Candidates

NASA Selects 10 New Astronaut Candidates

NASA announced the selection of ten new astronaut candidates today. After two years of training, they will be eligible for flight assignments as part of the NASA astronaut corps. The six men and four women span a range of experience and backgrounds, but with an emphasis on science and engineering and military service.

The ten were chosen from a pool of more than 12,000 applicants who were required to have a master’s degree in a STEM field.

Astronaut Candidate Class of 2021: U.S. Air Force Maj. Nichole Ayers, Christopher Williams, U.S. Marine Corps Maj. (retired.) Luke Delaney, U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jessica Wittner, U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Anil Menon, U.S. Air Force Maj. Marcos Berríos, U.S. Navy Cmdr. Jack Hathaway, Christina Birch, U.S. Navy Lt. Deniz Burnham, and Andre Douglas  Photographer: Robert Markowitz

Each has an impressive resumé that is difficult to summarize briefly, but eight are active or retired officers in the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard and the majority have engineering (aerospace, biological, chemical, or mechanical) degrees. Others have math or science degrees and some have both. They hail from Alaska to Puerto Rico.

During a ceremony at Ellington Field near NASA’s Johnson Space Center, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said “Alone, each candidate has ‘the right stuff,’ but together they represent the creed of our country: E pluribus unum – out of many, one.”

They report for duty at Johnson Space Center in January 2022, so will be eligible for flight beginning in 2024. They could fly to the International Space Station or to the Moon as part of the Artemis program.

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