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Record Breaking 18,000 Applicants to be an Astronaut for NASA

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After a record-breaking pool of 18,000 applicants, NASA chose 12 new team members to be the next astronauts. The astronaut class of 2017 consists of 7 men and 5 women, who excelled over the other thousands of applicants. Not to mention, the previous record was over 8,000 less applicants than this year. Fortunately, these men and women have advanced experience in the fields of space and flying, and are prepared to mark an impact on America’s future in space travel.

Each of the astronauts are diverse based on their experiences in both work, school, and age. In the class of females and males ranging from 29 to 42, there are two doctors, six military officers, and even a marine biologist who has been involved in Antarctic expeditions. Furthermore, there is a paceX engineer who might potentially ride a rocket and capsule he helped design and a geologist who worked with NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover in the past.

However, the successful group of men and women are not yet astronauts, technically. They must complete a two-year training program in order to truly be named astronauts. In the meantime, they are titled as “astronaut candidates” and were introduced with this name when they walked the stage to accept the offer in front of family and friends.

The 2017 astronaut class is NASA’s 22nd, nearly 60 years after the 1959 introduction of the Mercury Seven amid a space race with the Soviet Union. What;s next for the 22nd class of astronaut candidates? The candidates will report to Houston in August to begin studying space craft and systems, flying T-38 jets, and learning Russian. After completion of the training, they will become eligible to fly in space, joining the 44 other prestigious active members of NASA’s astronaut corps.

We are thankful for these strong men and women and wish them a huge congratulations for their efforts to make it on NASA’s space team.

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