NASA revealed the members of its new astronaut candidate class who may someday help establish a sustainable presence on the moon.
The four women and six men named on Monday (Dec. 6) comprise the U.S. space agency’s 23rd group of astronaut candidates since the Mercury 7 were chosen in 1959 and the first to be recruited since the start of NASA’s Artemis moon program. The new class of 10 was narrowed from a pool of more than 12,000 applicants after an extended recruitment process that began in March 2020 and was delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The astronaut candidates, or “ascans” for short, were announced at a ceremony held at Ellington Field, NASA’s base for flight operations, located near Johnson Space Center in Houston.
To be eligible, the new ascans had to be U.S. citizens with a masters degree from an accredited institution in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) field with 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 physical for long-duration spaceflight.