Speed Reads

aim for the stars

Meet NASA's newest astronauts

After sifting through a record 18,300 applicants, NASA announced its 12 newest astronauts at a ceremony Wednesday in Houston. Vice President Mike Pence attended, hailing the new astronauts as "American heroes" in a speech.

NASA's 2017 class of five women and seven men includes a surgeon, an oceanography engineer, an electrical engineering professor, a SpaceX senior manager, a physician, a nuclear engineer, two geologists, and four veteran test pilots. To be eligible, The Verge reported that applicants had to "meet some physical requirements as well as certain education and experience criteria — such as having a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field or accumulating up to 1,000 hours of piloting jets."

Before the chosen applicants are actually assigned to space missions, they'll have to complete two years of training at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

In the meantime, get to know NASA's newest astronauts below. Becca Stanek