Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

NASA Picks 8 New Astronauts, 4 of Them Women; List Includes First Female Fighter Pilot in Years

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

NASA Picks 8 New Astronauts, 4 of Them Women; List Includes First Female Fighter Pilot in Years

Article excerpt

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. * NASA has eight new astronauts its first new batch in four years.

Among the lucky candidates: the first female fighter pilot to become an astronaut in nearly two decades.

Four of the eight are women, the highest percentage of female astronaut candidates ever selected by NASA.

The announcement came on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the launch of the first American woman in space, Sally Ride on June 18, 1983. She died last summer.

The eight all in their 30s were chosen from more than 6,000 applications received last year, the second largest number ever received. They will report for duty in August at Johnson Space Center in Houston and join 49 astronauts now at NASA. The number has dwindled ever since the space shuttles stopped flying in 2011. Many astronauts quit rather than get in a lengthy line for relatively few slots for long-term missions aboard the International Space Station.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said these new candidates will help lead the first human mission to an asteroid in the 2020s, and then Marsin the following decade. …

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