The US space agency NASA today selected 10 new astronauts, half of whom are military pilots dreaming of the Moon and Mars.
The space agency presented six men and four women at a ceremony in Houston, where the mission control and the astronaut corps are located.
More than 12,000 applications have been received for the competition, and the selected 10, who are in their 30s and 40s, are waiting for two years of training to qualify for space flight.
In addition to military pilots, astronaut candidates include a medical physicist, a marine robot, a NASA operator who launched Space X, and a bio-engineer who was a cycling champion. Two astronauts from the United Arab Emirates will train with them.
NASA has accepted 360 people into its astronaut corps since 1959, when it selected seven for the flight in the first American spaceship within the “Mercury” project. The previous choice of astronauts was in 2017.
With Space X sending astronauts to the International Space Station and other private companies organizing short tourist flights, as well as NASA’s lunar landing program, “the golden era of human spaceflight is” the golden era, “says NASA astronaut Reed Weissman.
NASA plans to send astronauts to the moon by 2025 at the latest.