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NASA’s newest astronauts include 2 Space Camp grads

HOUSTON — As NASA opens applications for future astronauts, the space agency recently graduated its latest class of space travelers.

Among the new astronauts are a pair of graduates from Space Camp in Huntsville: Nichole Ayers of Colorado Springs and Chris Williams of Potomac, Md.

Including Ayers and Williams, there are 12 Space Camp alums who have become astronauts.

  • Bob Hines
  • Christina Koch, Artemis II astronaut and five-time alumna
  • Jasmin Moghbeli, currently aboard the International Space Station
  • Kate Rubins
  • Samantha Cristoforetti, a European Space Agency astronaut
  • Serena Aunon-Chancellor, now a manager astronaut
  • Jared Isaacman, commander of the Polaris Dawn civilian mission that will include the first civilian spacewalk. He attended the Aviation Challenge program and was commander of Inspiration4
  • Dottie Metcalf-Lindenberger, a former NASA astronaut
  • Wally Funk, who flew on Blue Origin’s New Shepherd with Jeff Bezos
  • Beth Moses, flew with Virgin Galactic as a professional astronaut and chief astronaut instructor.

The new NASA astronauts are Ayers and Williams; Marcos Berríos of Guaynabo, P.R.; Chris Birch of Gilbert, Ariz.; Deniz Bunham of Wasilla, Alaska; Luke Delaney of Debary, Fla.; Andre Douglas of Chesapeake, Va.; Jack Hathaway of South Windsor, Conn.; Anil Menon of Minneapolis; and Jessica Wittner of Clovis, Calif.

UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronauts Mohammad AlMulla and Nora AlMatrooshi trained alongside the NASA astronaut candidates for the past two years and took part in Thursday’s graduation ceremony.

Soon they will receive their assignments for the International Space Station, future orbiting destinations, the moon, and beyond.

Selected for training in 2021, the astronaut graduates were chosen from a pool of more than 12,000 applicants and completed more than two years of required basic training, including spacewalking, robotics, space station systems, and more.

Applications to become a NASA astronaut are now open.

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