NASA have selected 12 new astronauts for its active flight corps that includes seven men and five women. This claims that 56 active members can be assigned to upcoming spaceflight mission. The astronaut class of the year 2017 includes doctors, scientists, pilot, engineers and military officers from Anchorage to Miami. All the astronauts have much experience of working in submarines, emergency rooms, university lecture halls, jet cockpits, and battleships. One of them is a former SpaceX engineer. All of them are of age between 29 to 42.
The announcement of a new class of astronauts was made on the front of numerous Texas representatives as well as Vice President Mike Pence during NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Pence said, “President Trump is “firmly committed” to NASA’s mission in space and that “America will lead the way in space once again.” Robert Lightfoot, NASA’s acting administrator said, “I personally feel very inadequate when you read what these folks have done.”
Pence said that we will provide resources and support necessary to continue to make history as well. He further reconfirmed that he will head up the soon-to-be-resurrected National Space Council and executive group aimed at guiding US space policy. The council was in effect in the 60s and 70s during George H.W. Bush administration but was separated in 1993. He further mentioned that NASA would continue to work together with the commercial space industry in the future. The courage of these men and women, and all the astronauts who have gone before inspires me to this very day,” he further continued. The 12-selected corps will join 44 existing corps from Wednesday.
The new team will be given training of two years and would later set for riding commercial rockets to the International Space Station or beyond that in NASA’s Orion spacecraft. Robb Kulin, a launch engineer and senior manager for SpaceX is among those selected astronauts. Kulin said, “I have also worked as an ice driller in Antarctica and a commercial fisherman in Alaska and hopefully, one day, I actually fly on a vehicle that … I got to design.”