NASA Welcomes Applications for Astronauts as the Newest Class Graduates

At a ceremony held on Tuesday at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, the agency welcomed the newest batch of future generation Artemis astronauts. Now, the ten astronaut graduates are qualified for assignments in flight. The organization also declared the start of the next NASA astronaut application cycle.

“Congratulations to the newest class of NASA astronauts! We are excited to have a new and diverse set of explorers ready to expand humanity’s reach,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson stated . “We need more adventurers ready to join the ranks to explore the cosmos, including future missions to the Moon, on to Mars, and beyond. Astronauts are pioneers who will help us embark on this new era of exploration.”

From a pool of over 12,000 hopefuls, the astronaut grads were picked for training in 2021 and successfully finished the more than two years of basic training that was required, which included spacewalking, robotics, space station systems, and more.

The graduates might be sent on trips to the International Space Station, future private space stations, or the Moon as part of the Artemis program to prepare for a journey to Mars.

Kiran Ahuja, director of the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) stated, Congratulations to NASA and the astronaut graduates,”. “By partnering with OPM, NASA employed an automated and streamlined hiring process to screen applicants for these prestigious roles. OPM is thrilled to continue supporting NASA experts to design and implement their hiring methods.”

Chief Astronaut Joe Acaba remarked, “It’s an incredible time to be an astronaut with a variety of spacecraft to fly and more destinations to explore,”  “I’m honored to welcome these astronauts, congratulate them on their hard work, and look forward to growing our ranks as we help expand humanity’s reach into the solar system.”

Nichole Ayers from Colorado Springs, Colorado, Marcos Berríos from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, Chris Birch from Gilbert, Arizona, Deniz Bunham from Wasilla, Alaska, Luke Delaney from Debary, Florida, Andre Douglas from Chesapeake, Virginia, Jack Hathaway from South Windsor, Connecticut, Anil Menon from Minneapolis, Chris Williams from Potomac, Maryland, and Jessica Wittner from Clovis, California are the NASA astronauts who are graduating.

Two United Arab Emirates (UAE) astronauts, Nora AlMatrooshi and Mohammad AlMulla of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Centre, have been training with their NASA counterparts for the past two years and took part in the graduation ceremony, carrying on a long-standing history of international cooperation.

This is a small portion of NASA and the UAE’s partnership, which also includes work on the International Space Station, NASA’s Artemis missions via the Gateway lunar space station, and other ground- and space-based endeavors that promote innovative science and research.

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