NASA officials selected an Airman as one of the eight military and civilian candidates to become an astronaut trainee.
After an 18-month search, officials chose Lt. Col. Tyler N. Hague, the Department of Defense deputy chief of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, out of more than 6,100 applicants. Hague is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
The 2013 astronaut candidate class comes from the second largest number of applications NASA has ever received. The group will receive a wide array of technical training at space centers around the globe to prepare for missions to low-Earth orbit, an asteroid and Mars.
“These new space explorers asked to join NASA because they know we’re doing big, bold things here — developing missions to go farther into space than ever before,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “They’re excited about the science we’re doing on the International Space Station and our plan to launch from U.S. soil to there on spacecraft built by American companies. And they’re ready to help lead the first human mission to an asteroid and then on to Mars.”
The new astronaut candidates will begin training at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston in August.
“This year we have selected eight highly-qualified individuals who have demonstrated impressive strengths academically, operationally, and physically” said Janet Kavandi, the director of Flight Crew Operations at Johnson Space Center. “They have diverse backgrounds and skill sets that will contribute greatly to the existing astronaut corps. Based on their incredible experiences to date, I have every confidence that they will apply their combined expertise and talents to achieve great things for NASA and this country in the pursuit of human exploration.”