NASA Selects 4 Women as Trainees

Highest percentage in history

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After vetting 6,100 applicants over a two-year search, NASA has selected eight new candidates to be its newest astronaut trainees, four of whom are women, the highest number selected in the program’s history. (There were four women in the class of 1998, but they accounted for only 16 percent of the class.)

All eight trainees are between the ages of 34 and 39, so they’ll be into their fifties by 2030, the earliest possible date for a Mars mission.

Until then, astronauts could test vehicles built by private companies or spend time aboard the International Space Station. NASA also has a plan to capture an asteroid and drag it into orbit around the moon in the next two decades.

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