NASA's 2013 astronaut candidate class joined Washington-area students and the public on Jan. 30 for an educational event at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington.
The eight astronaut candidates talked with about the value of education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). During the program, attending students also had the opportunity to interact live with NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins and Rick Mastracchio, who currently are aboard the International Space Station.
NASA's 2013 astronaut candidates are: Josh A. Cassada and Victor J. Glover, lieutenant commanders in the U.S. Navy; Tyler N. "Nick" Hague, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force; Christina M. Hammock, who holds a Master of Science in electrical engineering; Nicole Aunapu Mann, a major in the U.S. Marine Corps; Anne C. McClain a major in the U.S. Army; Jessica U. Meir, who holds a Ph.D. in marine biology and Andrew R. Morgan a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army.
The candidate are in a two-year training process, which includes technical activities at space centers and remote locations around the globe. The training is designed to prepare them for missions that will help the agency push the boundaries of exploration and travel to new destinations in the solar system, including an asteroid and Mars.