NASA selects two Soldiers for 2013 Astronaut Candidate Class
Army Astronaut Col. Shane Kimbrough, right, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command's NASA Detachment, speaks with Maj. Anne C. McClain, who was recently selected as one of NASA's newest astronaut trainees, during a recruiting visit to Redstone Arsenal, Ala., on Jan. 20, 2012.

JOHNSON SPACE CENTER, Texas -- After an extensive year-and-a-half search, NASA has a new group of potential astronauts who will help the agency push the boundaries of exploration and travel to new destinations in the solar system. Eight candidates have been selected to be NASA's newest astronaut trainees.

The 2013 astronaut candidate class comes from the second largest number of applications NASA ever has received -- more than 6,100. 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 two Army astronaut candidates will be assigned to the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command's NASA Detachment in Houston.

The first Army astronaut selectee is Maj. Anne C. McClain. She lists her hometown as Spokane, Wash. She is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.; the University of Bath and the University of Bristol, both in the United Kingdom. McClain is an OH-58 helicopter pilot and a recent graduate of U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Md.

The second Army astronaut selectee is Maj. Andrew R. Morgan, M.D. He considers New Castle, Pa., home. Morgan is a graduate of The U.S. Military Academy at West Point and earned a doctorate in medicine from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md. He has experience as an emergency physician and flight surgeon for the Army special operations community, and currently is completing a sports medicine fellowship.

The new astronaut candidates will begin training at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston beginning in August.

"This year we have selected eight highly-qualified individuals who have demonstrated impressive strengths academically, operationally and physically," said Janet Kavandi, 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."

Page last updated Mon June 17th, 2013 at 00:00