While the shuttle project might be dead and it might be a few years yet until a new US based launch vehicle is ready to go, this hasn't stopped NASA recruiting its next generation of astronauts, picking eight individuals who will become trainees at the organisation, hoping to one day be selected for missions into the cosmos.
Selected from a collection of over 6,000 individuals, these eight people – four men and four women – are as follows: Josh Cassada (physicist), Victor Glover (Lt. Commander in US Navy), Tyler Hague (Lt. Colonel in US Air Force), Christina Hammock (National Oceanographic Administration station chief), Nicole Mann (US Marine Corps), Ann McClain (US Army helicopter pilot), Jessica Meir (Assistant professor of anesthesia at Harvard) and Andrew Morgan (Major in US Army).
“These new space explorers asked to join Nasa because they know we're doing big, bold things here, developing missions to go farther into space than ever before,” said Nasa Administrator Charles Bolden (via Wired). “They're excited about the science we're doing on the International Space Station and our plan to launch from US soil to there on spacecraft built by American companies. And they're ready to help lead the first human mission to an asteroid and then on to Mars.”
The eight will now begin a long training process that will push them physically and mentally, preparing them for practice missions in low-Earth orbit, before potentially sending them out using the in development Orion spacecraft sometime in the next decade.
KitGuru Says: No complaints here. Good luck to the eight – good to see a nice spread of gender too.