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June 18, 2013 AT 12:17 pm

NASA’s new astronauts: Will these men and women fly to Mars?

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NASA’s new astronauts: Will these men and women fly to Mars? @ latimes.com.

It’s been two years since NASA’s space shuttle program came to an end, but thousands of Americans still dream of becoming astronauts. Eight of them – four men and four women – were introduced Monday as NASA’s astronaut candidate class for 2013.

More than 6,300 people applied to become astronauts-in-training, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a video announcement. That is the second-most applications the space agency has ever received, according to a NASA statement.

The bios of the eight people selected will probably make you feel like a bit of a slacker. Two of them have PhDs and one is a physician training in sports medicine. Four have experience as test pilots for the Navy or Air Force. One person is working at the Pentagon on ways to defeat the homemade bombs that have plagued troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of them is the station chief for theNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s research outpost in American Samoa.

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