NASA to Announce America’s Next Class of Astronaut Candidates

A spacewalker’s spacesuit gloves and camera are reflected in the helmet visor during a six-hour and seven-minute spacewalk. (NASA Image)

(NASA) – After evaluating more than 12,000 applications, NASA will introduce its 2021 astronaut candidates at 12:30 p.m. EST Monday, Dec. 6, from Ellington Field near NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

After completing training, these individuals could be eligible for a variety of flight assignments including missions on and around the Moon under Artemis.

The astronaut candidates will join NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy, Johnson Center Director Vanessa Wyche, and Flight Operations Director Norm Knight on stage at the event, which will air live on NASA TV, the agency’s website, and the NASA app.

Following the announcement, media in attendance will have the opportunity to speak with the new astronaut candidates and subject matter experts from the astronaut selection board, International Space Station Program, Commercial Crew Program, and Artemis about astronaut selection and the spacecraft in which the new astronauts could fly. Media must request credentials to attend no later than 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, by contacting the Johnson Newsroom at: 281-483-5111 or jsccommu@mail.nasa.gov.

The astronaut candidates also will be available for virtual interviews the day after the announcement, on Tuesday, Dec. 7. Media interested in this limited opportunity must contact the Johnson newsroom at: 281-483-5111 or jsccommu@mail.nasa.gov by 9 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7.

Following graduation, which requires about two years of training, astronaut candidates could receive assignments for missions performing research aboard the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft built by commercial companies, and launching on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket.

The astronaut candidates will report to NASA Johnson in January to begin their training in spacecraft systems, spacewalking skills, teamwork, and other necessary skills.

These women and men were selected after completing their applications in March 2020 for a chance to join NASA’s astronaut corps and take part in America’s human spaceflight program.

Requirements to apply included U.S. citizenship, a master’s degree from an accredited institution in a STEM field that emphasized science, technology, engineering, or math, and at least three years of related experience, or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft. The candidates also had to pass the NASA long-duration flight astronaut physical.

Get more information about astronaut selection, and for information about the candidates after their introduction, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/astronauts

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