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
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
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.