Out of 12,000 applicants, NASA has chosen 10 recruits to represent the United States and work for humanity’s benefit. The announcement of the new class, six men and four women, was made on December 6, 2020.
The ten will be part of the Artemis Generation program once they complete their training with the space agency. According to Verge, this program seeks to send the first woman and the first person of color to the lunar surface as early as 2025.
“Today we welcome 10 new explorers, 10 members of the Artemis generation, NASA’s 2021 astronaut candidates class,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said. “Alone, each candidate has the ‘right stuff,’ but together they represent the creed of our country: E pluribus Unum – out of many, one.”
The astronaut class of 2021 is the first new class in four years. They come from a diverse pool of skills and skills fields; U.S Air Force, mathematics, aerospace engineering, biochemistry and molecular biophysics, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, physics, history, first flight surgeon, naval aviator, and astrophysics.
The ten come from all over the nation; the district of Columbia and U.S. territories Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
“Each of you has amazing backgrounds,” Pam Melroy, former NASA astronaut, and NASA Deputy Administrator, told the class of 2021 candidates.
Their two-year training will begin at Johnson in January 2022. The training will cover five major categories; operating and maintaining the International Space Station’s complex systems, training for spacewalks, developing complex robotics skills, safely operating a T-38 training jet, and Russian language skills.
“These NASA astronauts will plan, train and fly missions to the international Space Station and to the moon under Artemis, and eventually into Mars,” said Vanessa Wyche, director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, during the introduction of the new astronauts.
The new class of 2021 astronaut candidates includes:
- Nichole Ayers
- Marcos Berrios
- Christina Birch
- Deniz Burnham
- Luke Delaney
- Andre Douglas
- Jack Hathaway
- Anil Menon
- Christopher Williams
- Jessica Wittner