NASA picks 12 new astronauts from crush of applicants

The new class is made up of five women and seven men of various backgrounds - ranging from Air Force commanders to marine biologists.

The new astronauts will report to the USA space agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston in August to begin their two-year training in spacecraft systems, spacewalking skills, teamwork, Russian language and other necessary skills.

"I'm especially interested in life that lives in oddball environments on Earth, the extremophiles", Cardman said after learning she was an astronaut finalist.

"It's not at all surprising to me that so many Americans form diverse background want to personally contribute to blazing the train on our journey to Mars", said NASA administrator and former astronaut Charlie Bolden.

The university announced in May that it was part of a research team selected by NASA to "explore transformative system-level aviation innovations as part of NASA Aeronautics' University Leadership Initiative".

Dominick, a U.S. Navy Lt. Commander, earned his bachelor's of science degree in electrical engineering from Dollars and a master's of science degree in systems engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. She gave a thumbs-up. Only a handful of NASA astronauts can expect to fly in any given year. The first group, the original Mercury 7 astronauts, was chosen in 1959. Pence said he believes his own son was inspired to become a Marine Corps aviator because of an experience seeing one of those launches and watching as "America's heroic astronauts [were] hurled into the heavens".

- Navy Lt. Kayla Barron of Richland, Washington, a submarine warfare officer and nuclear engineer who was among the first class of women commissioned into the submarine service and now works at the U.S. Naval Academy. Dominick was at sea on the USS Ronald Reagan, serving as department head for Strike Fighter Squadron 115, when he got the call saying he'd been selected as an astronaut candidate.

For Jonny Kim, that means leaving his residency as a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Warren "Woody" Hoburg, 31, is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Kulin has worked for SpaceX in Hawthorne, Calif., since 2011.

- Bob Hines of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a NASA research pilot at Johnson Space Center.

- Loral O'Hara of Sugar Land, Texas, a research engineer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in MA. Francisco Rubio, and Jessica Watkins.

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