These graduating astronauts could join NASA's human mission to Mars

The astronauts who will lead NASA's upcoming mission to Mars could come from the agency's latest graduating class

NASA has unveiled its new batch of astronauts who are about to graduate next month. According to the agency, the new astronauts could be part of the agency's upcoming missions including the first crewed expedition to Mars.

The class of astronaut candidates will officially graduate on January 10 and the ceremony will be held at the agency's Johnson Space Center, which will be live broadcasted through NASA's website.

New Batch Of Astronauts

Astronaut Candidates
A new class of astronauts will graduate basic training on Jan. 10, 2020. The 2017 class includes (top row) Matthew Dominick of NASA, Kayla Barron of NASA, Warren Hoburg of NASA, and Joshua Kutryk of CSA, (middle row) Bob Hines of NASA, Frank Rubio of NASA, Jennifer Sidey-Gibbons of CSA, Jasmin Moghbeli of NASA, and Jessica Watkins of NASA, (bottom row) Raja Chari of NASA, Jonny Kim of NASA, Zena Cardman of NASA, and Loral O’Hara of NASA NASA

NASA's latest batch of astronaut candidates consists of a total of 13 individuals, with 2 from the Canadian Space Agency. According to NASA, the hopefuls were selected from a massive group of 18,000 applicants. Since 2017, the candidates have been participating in basic training programs designed to prepare them for astronaut-related duties.

Some of these programs taught the astronaut hopefuls everything they needed to know about conducting spacewalks. They were also trained in the field of robotics as well as the systems used by NASA's current facilities such as the International Space Station. They were also taught how to speak and read in Russian since NASA has a partnership with Russia's space agency.

Future Astronauts For Mars Mission

xEMU Suit
NASA's new Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit spacesuit NASA

After two years of basic training, the astronaut candidates will participate in the projects planned for NASA's latest spaceflight program known as Artemis. Although the agency has not yet named the astronauts it will pick for the upcoming missions, NASA noted that crew members for its first expedition to Mars will come from the graduating class. Those who will not be assigned to work in space as astronauts will most likely get the chance to work with the systems and teams that will support the upcoming missions.

"After completing more than two years of basic training, these candidates will become eligible for spaceflight, including assignments to the International Space Station, Artemis missions to the Moon, and ultimately, missions to Mars," NASA said in a statement.

Related topics : Nasa