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Astronaut Candidates Report for Duty

Astronaut Candidates Report for Duty

Fourteen new Astronaut Candidates have reported to our Johnson Space Center in Houston for duty on Monday, Aug. 21! Two astronauts from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), along with our 12 new astronaut candidates arrived for their first day of work. We selected these 12 individuals from a record number of more than 18,000 applicants. 

This excited group of outstanding individuals will begin 2 years of training, along with 2 Canadian astronauts, in 5 key areas before being assigned to a mission.

What 5 areas? Let’s take a look…

1. Operate in T-38 Jets

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Astronauts must be able to safely operate in the T-38 jets as either a pilot or back seater. 

2. Operate + Maintain the International Space Station

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Astronauts learn to operate and maintain the complex systems aboard the International Space Station. Did you know they recycle their water there? Today’s coffee is…well, tomorrow’s coffee too. 

3. Learn How to Spacewalk

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Or should we say waterwalk? Astronauts demonstrate the skills to complete complex spacewalk tasks in our Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory. This 6.2 million gallon pool contains a mockup of the space station and is a close simulation to microgravity.

4. Learn to Operate a Robot

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Astronauts train in Canada for 2 weeks to learn how to capture visiting vehicles and more with the space station’s Canadarm 2 robotic arm. 

5. Learn a Foreign Language

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Astronauts must be fluent in both English and Russian, the two official languages on the International Space Station. 

But before they begin all this training…they had to report for duty…

This group reported for Johnson Space Center on eclipse day and was sworn in as NASA’s Astronaut Candidate Class of 2017.

They even got to experience the partial solar eclipse together, what a great first day!

Follow their training journey online by following @NASA_Astronauts on Twitter. 

Get to know them better and watch their individual interviews here: go.nasa.gov/NewAstronauts. 

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