What it takes to get to space

Last updated 12:06 18/06/2013

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Sifting through the second largest number of astronaut applicants it’s ever had, Nasa has spent a year and half finding eight people who they believe have the right stuff.

From more than 6100 applications received, Nasa administrator Charles Bolden said the enthusiasm shown by the successful candidates was impressive.

"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 Bolden.

"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."

Nasa flight crew operations at Johnson Space Center Janet Kavandi said the eight men and women selected showed great all round talent.

"This year we have selected eight highly qualified individuals who have demonstrated impressive strengths academically, operationally, and physically” said Kavandi.

"They have diverse backgrounds and skill sets that will contribute greatly to the existing astronaut corps.

"Based on their incredible experiences to date, I have every confidence that they will apply their combined expertise and talents to achieve great things for Nasa and this country in the pursuit of human exploration."

The new astronaut candidates will begin training at the Johnson Space Center in Houston in August.

SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATES

Josh Cassada Ph.D, 39, originally from White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Cassada is a former naval aviator who holds an undergraduate degree from Albion College, and advanced degrees from the University of Rochester, NY. Cassada is a physicist by training and currently is serving as co-founder and chief technology officer for Quantum Opus.

Victor Glover, 37, Lt. Commander, US Navy, hails from Pomona, California, and Prosper, Texas. He is an F/A-18 pilot and graduate of the US Air Force Test Pilot School. Glover holds degrees from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California; Air University and Naval Postgraduate School. He currently is serving as a Navy Legislative Fellow in the US Congress.

Tyler Hague (Nick), 37, Lt. Colonel, US Air Force, calls Hoxie, Kansas, home. He is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the US Air Force Test Pilot School, Edwards, California. Hague currently is supporting the Department of Defense as deputy chief of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization.

Christina Hammock, 34, calls Jacksonville, North Carolina. home. Hammock holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina. She currently is serving as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration station chief in American Samoa.

Nicole Aunapu Mann, 35, Major, US Marine Corps, originally from Penngrove, California. She is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, Stanford (California) University and the US Naval Test Pilot School, Patuxent River. Mann is an F/A 18 pilot, currently serving as an Integrated Product Team Lead at the US Naval Air Station, Patuxent River.

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Anne McClain, 34, Major, US Army, lists her hometown as Spokane, Washington. She is a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, NY; the University of Bath and the University of Bristol, both in the United Kingdom. McClain is an OH-58 helicopter pilot, and a recent graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School at Naval Air Station, Patuxent River.

Jessica Meir, Ph.D, 35 is from Caribou, Maine. She is a graduate of Brown University, has an advanced degree from the International Space University, and earned her doctorate from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Meir currently is an Assistant Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

Andrew Morgan, MD, 37, Major, US Army, considers New Castle, Pennsylvania, home. Morgan is a graduate of The US Military Academy at West Point, and earned doctorate in medicine from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md. He has experience as an emergency physician and flight surgeon for the Army special operations community, and currently is completing a sports medicine fellowship.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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