NASA Selects New Astronaut Class


NASA has chosen ten candidates for its 2021 astronaut class, the agency announced on Monday during an event at Ellington Field in Houston, Texas. Selected from among more than 12,000 applicants, the candidates are the agency’s first new astronaut class in four years. They are scheduled to report to NASA’s Johnson Space Center to begin a two-year training program in January 2022.

“We’ve made many giant leaps throughout the last 60 years, fulfilling President Kennedy’s goal of landing a man on the moon,” said Johnson Space Center Director Vanessa Wyche. “Today we reach further into the stars as we push forward to the Moon once again and on to Mars with NASA’s newest astronaut candidate class.”

NASA’s 2021 astronaut candidates are Nichole Ayers, Marcos Berríos, Christina Birch, Deniz Burnham, Luke Delaney, Andre Douglas, Jack Hathaway, Anil Menon, Christopher Williams and Jessica Wittner. Including the new candidates, NASA reports that it has now selected 360 astronauts since the original Mercury Seven in 1959. According to the agency, the 2021 class was the first required to hold a master’s degree in a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) field.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. FYI: the US will be doing moon landings again, this time with moon bases. Our military adversaries are angling for the high ground, and that’s the moon.

    If you remember the Bond “Moonraker” movie, kinda in that direction.