Everybody wins when NASA does something good, and the news that the program selected its highest percentage, ever, of female astronauts for its new class is no exception. The eight new astronaut candidates — four of whom are women — could join the 49 active astronauts already working at NASA.
The new possible spacepeople were chosen from a pool of over 6,000 applicants. Given that NASA retired all their space shuttles, the first missions for the new astronaut candidates could be aboard a commercial vessel launched in the U.S. Eventually, they could be part of a planned mission to an asteroid, and possibly Mars, NASA told the AP.
Their backgrounds range from Harvard med school professor to fighter pilot. Here's the full list:
—Tyler Hague, 37, of the US Air Force.
—Nicole Aunapu Mann, 35, from the US Marines.
—Anne McClain, 34, a former helicopter pilot.
—Jessica Meir PhD, 35, a professor at Harvard University.
—Andrew Morgan, 37, a West Point graduate and emergency surgeon for the army.
According to NASA, the new potential crew will start training in August, in Houston. Tuesday, by the way is the 30th anniversary of Sally Ride's historic flight as the first woman to enter Earth's lower orbit.