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The next astronaut candidates for NASA are reporting to Houston to begin their training

NASA’s ten new astronaut contenders are reporting to work one month after being introduced to the world, to begin 2 years of training. On Monday (January 10), the four women and six men selected from over 12,000 candidates will begin their new jobs as prospective space station crew members and potential moonwalkers. They are NASA’s 23rd class of trainees, and the 22nd to be stationed at Houston’s Johnson Space Center since 1962.

“Our country’s human spaceflight program is housed at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. We celebrated our 60th anniversary in November here in Houston, a watershed moment in the history of the United States’ space program “At a ceremony on December 6 to announce the new astronaut candidates, Vanessa Wyche, who is the current director of the Johnson Space Center (JSS), said: “The ‘human’ in manned spaceflight is our astronaut corps.” Those who complete the two-year training program will be eligible to join NASA’s astronaut corps and be assigned to the International Space Station (ISS) and the Artemis lunar mission.

“There has not been a more exciting moment to embark on your career than now,” Pam Melroy, who is the former space shuttle astronaut, remarked. “We’re extremely focused on creating a template for how we’ll explore with people, not only to the moon, not only to Mars, but to figure out the pattern for how we’ll move into the solar system,” she says. “Right now, that’s what we’re concentrating on,” Melroy added. “We’re going to rehearse on the moon and push out, and that’ll be your generation.”

NASA astronaut candidate (or “ascan”) training is divided into five key categories: space station systems operation and maintenance, robotics skills, spacewalking, piloting T-38 supersonic planes, and Russian language proficiency.

When asked what they were most looking forward to, the new ascans gave responses as diverse as their backgrounds.

“One of the things that pulled me to want to be an astronaut was that you will get to perform all of these diverse things and understand how to do everything,” Christopher Williams, who is a medical physicist whose research centered on improving image guidance tools for cancer treatments, said.

Marcos Berrios, a combat pilot with a degree in aeronautics and astronautics in the United States Air National Guard, responded in a similar manner. “I enjoy learning about new topics and concepts, so studying Russian appears to be quite appealing to me. It’s difficult for me to choose between geology and learning to fly the T-38 “Berrios explained. “Practicing spacewalking in the water is certainly at the top of the list.”

The neutral buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) is a 6.2-million-gallon (23.5 million liters) tank that can submerge full-scale mockups of the space station’s core modules, as well as other spaceships and payloads as needed. Candidates study the fundamentals of functioning in the NBL while gaining experience in a spacesuit or extravehicular mobility unit.

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